Dateline: 3 June 2016
Small voices, big sound
From the Final Action Plan for the Arrivals Review, published on 2nd June 2016:
"That GAL explores with NATS the potential for aircraft to be vectored to be established on the ILS at a minimum of 8nm from touchdown outside of night hours…Hence the arrival swathe would normally extend from a minimum of 8nm to 14nm, with aircraft joining on a straight in approach when traffic permits".
GAL accepts this recommendation. [Without caveats such as 'minded to']
'Gatwick Airport Ltd has been able to confirm that the proposal to widen the arrivals swathe will create a fairer and more equitable distribution of aircraft noise, more closely emulating that experienced by communities prior to 2013.' [Our bold]
From Tom Tugendhat, MP
"I am pleased with the response that Gatwick have published today. This is a welcome step in recognising the need for quieter skies over the west of our county. However, now the talking is over it is time for action. Many of the recommendations Gatwick has agreed on can be implemented within weeks. I will be closely scrutinising them so they are aware that they must be implemented on time."
Mark this moment; remember it as the moment you heard that all your work, your emails, your calls and your money made a difference.
A real difference. Not just to you, but to so many around the country who have been encouraged to take up the fight for their airspace, having seen the momentum we have created for change. ('We' includes you, GON, Tom MP, his office and all the campaign groups)
I recently appealed for you to write to Gatwick to demand that "Gatwick, NATS, DfT and the CAA fully adopt all proposals from the Arrivals Review, in full, without caveats and without delay."
It worked. Gatwick have advised that no less than 361 of you contacted them.
The caveats ("minded to accept") have gone.
Well done, well done.
They also accept all 3 recommendations for improved CDA's (i.e. a smoother descent). These will also make a very significant difference.
In terms of timing, expect the summer schedule still to be horrible. Sorry.
But we hope to see changes to your skies this year.
Our Mission Statement above first appeared in July last year. We meant it then, and we mean it now. And it seems the industry is just beginning to listen.
I also asked you to request that the Noise Management Board had 4 seats for Community Groups, not just the 2 on offer. (The newly-created NMB will oversee the implementation of the Arrivals Review as one of its first tasks). This has also been accepted and the groups collectively now have those 4 seats. Tick.
Yes, the aircraft volumes are increasing, the 2nd runway may still descend on Gatwick, and some time after 2022 the PBN satellite-guided flight arrival paths will arrive.
And yes, we still have a major battle on our hands with night flights and aircraft altitude.
This news is just Step 1.
There are many to go.
But after around 2 years of work by you, GON and so, so many, I am minded to take a moment and salute what has been achieved.
It's no longer just on paper.
Thank you so much.
As we quote in the Hawk video below
'It always seems impossible until it"s done'
It's not done.
But it has started to be done.
Gatwick Obviously Not
See the Final Action Plan here:
See the introduction here
As you may know, we made a few films to help the Campaign over the last 12 months or so. Here they are again if of interest - in their own way, they do chart the process