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News from GATCOM this week (09/08/2019


  • Heathrow Airport Expansion Consultation – Consultation closes 13 September 2019

Click here to see the expansion plans / Click here to see the consultation


  • The Airbus A350: a quiet, efficient giant – Virgin Atlantic blog 08.08.19

Virgin Atlantic launch new Airbus A350, the quietest and most economical long haul jet ever built. Read more

  • Aviation returns to the Commons - Business travel News 12.08.19

In one of his first moves since being appointed, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has added a new aviation minister to his team, sitting in the House of Commons. Paul Maynard was appointed Parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport (DfT) last week with aviation, including Heathrow expansion, as one of his responsibilities. A spokesman for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on general aviation said: “In our opinion, this is a big change as it brings aviation back into the Commons, which is subject to a greater level of media scrutiny than the Lords.” Read more

  • Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith appointed new Chair of AOA – International Airport Review 20.08.19

The Airport Operators Association has announced that Ruby McGregor-Smith has been appointed as the AOA’s new Chair, taking over from the outgoing Chair Ed Anderson. She will take up her appointment from 1 September 2019. McGregor-Smith is a portfolio Non-Executive Director and Advisory Director with current positions that include Thames Tideway Tunnel, Mace Group and the Department for Education. Read more

  • Ryanair loses High Court bId to block British pilots’ strike – Travel Weekly 21.08.19

Justice Lambert DBE rejected Ryanair’s arguments and ruled the British Airline Pilots Association’s (BALPA) industrial action ballot and procedures were lawful. Ryanair said it expects to operate a full flight schedule on both days but said it could not rule out some delays and cancellations. Read more

  • Ryanair granted injunction preventing Irish pilot strike – Travel Weekly 21.08.19

Ryanair has won its legal battle in the Irish High Court to prevent its Irish pilots from striking tomorrow and Friday. All flights scheduled to depart in the next two days from Irish airports will operate as normal, the airline said. Read more


  • Jazeera Kuwait – Gatwick launch – Business travel News 12.08.19

The first new service in 55 years between the UK and Kuwait is set for take-off from 27 October with Kuwaiti low-cost carrier (LCC) Jazeera Airways planning a daily service to Gatwick using a new Airbus A320neo. In addition to serving Kuwait, flights will provide onward connectivity to Dubai, Bahrain, Doha and New Delhi via the Jazeera owned and operated Terminal 5 at Kuwait Airport. Read More

  • Gatwick unveils five-year investment plan - Business travel News 12.08.19

A new five-year Capital Investment Programme (CIP) was published last week by Gatwick in a £1.1bn commitment to more automation and technology as an enabler of sustainable growth. New initiatives backed by owners Vinci Airports and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) include robotic parking and automated boarding technology, which Gatwick said would simplify procedures and give passengers more choice on how they spend their time.

The single biggest project to be delivered within the next five years is the Pier 6 western extension (below), enabling more than 500,000 more North Terminal passengers to embark and disembark aircraft via jetty-served stands and improved gate waiting areas. Other new projects identified in the CIP include check-in automation, significant expansion of the international departure lounges in both North and South Terminals, and biometric auto-boarding technology development and next phase of testing. Also planned is main runway technology optimisation using techniques such as Time-Based Flow Management, which offers the potential to increase the capability of the main runway to create opportunities for resilience and growth. Read more

  • Norwegian Air plane damaged after crashing into fence at Gatwick Airport – Metro 13.08.19

A 300-seater aeroplane was damaged when it hit a fence while being maneuvered from its departure gate at Gatwick Airport yesterday. The Norwegian Air Boeing 787 Dreamliner was pushed too far back, causing it to hit a fence. A cone that contains the auxiliary power unit at the rear of the aircraft appeared to suffer damage on flight DI7017 at 9.50am. It is believed the object that it hit was a noise mitigation barrier and pictures show emergency crews rushing to the incident. Read more

  • Why Gatwick expansion adds to the aviation carbon headache – Aviation Environment Federation 15.08.19

In July, Gatwick Airport published its master plan setting out its intention to progress detailed design and development work to bring the existing standby runway into regular use alongside the main runway, while continuing to safeguard land for an additional runway to the south.

Growth projections underpinning the master plan suggest that use of the standby runway could see passenger numbers grow to 70 million passengers per annum (mppa) by 2032/33, a 53% increase on the 45.7 million passengers who used the airport in 2017/18. Aircraft movements are set to grow at a slower rate due to an estimated 10% increase in the average number of passengers per plane, but by 2032/33 they could reach 390,000 movements per annum, around 39% more than the airport handled last year. Read more

  • Delta Returns To Gatwick, Boosts UK-US Capacity With Virgin Atlantic – Airways 15.08.19

MIAMI—Delta Air Lines, together with its British joint venture partner, Virgin Atlantic, will be boosting capacity in the US-UK market by 15% next summer. Both carriers will be increasing capacity on routes between New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, and London, as well as launching an all-new route to London’s second busiest airport, Gatwick. Both Delta and Virgin Atlantic are expected to increase by 10,000 weekly seats its capacity between the two countries. Read more

  • Police costs for Gatwick drone fiasco double to nearly £900k – and still no one's been charged – The Register 16.08.19

So far police in Sussex, where the "London" airport is situated, have splurged an eye-watering £886,210 on trying to track down whoever shut down the UK's second busiest airport in December. Read more

  • Gatwick office becomes the official CAA Headquarters – Civil Aviation Authority 19.08.19

Following the relocation of our central London office from Holborn to Canary Wharf, our official corporate headquarters is now Aviation House located just outside of Gatwick Airport. The official registered address is Aviation House, Beehive Ring Road, Crawley, West Sussex RH6 0YR. Read more

  • Gatwick seeks passenger representatives – Passenger Terminal Today 19.08.19

London Gatwick Airport’s Passenger Advisory Group is recruiting new members to represent the views of passengers. Read more

  • Airport plans would ‘wreck climate effort’ – The Argus 19.08.19

Gatwick Airport expansion plans would “make a mockery” of efforts to fight climate change, a campaign group claims. The proposal to widen an existing standby runway and bring it into regular use would “wipe out” the efforts of Sussex communities to combat climate change, say members of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Sussex. In a statement, the organisation highlighted the fact the majority of councils in the county, including Brighton and Hove City Council, have declared a state of climate emergency. This involves pledging to cut carbon emissions. But the group says these efforts would be futile if Gatwick Airport were to run additional flights. Read more

  • Gatwick plans could increase CO2 by 1m tonnes per year – The Argus 20.08.19

Earlier this month, Gatwick Airport Ltd unveiled its proposed master plan to use its backup runway for routine flights, increasing departures to 70 planes every hour. But the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) campaign group said the plan would cause annual carbon dioxide emissions to increase by an extra 930,000 tonnes. Read more

  • Keeping Gatwick ahead of the curve with state-of-the-art technology – International Airport Review 22.08.19

Embracing innovation has been a key factor to Gatwick Airport’s recent successes and to a large extent it has been cutting-edge technology and bespoke systems that have seen the airport transform its passenger experience. Read more

  • AAIB Investigation Outcome: Vehicle Incursion of Runway Occupied By Aircraft, London Gatwick Airport, 3 February 2018 – 22.08.19

The Government’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) yesterday issued its report into an airside vehicle carrying out a runway inspection which was cleared onto the active runway ahead of an aircraft decelerating after landing. The investigation identified shortcomings in runway inspection procedures and the management of the internal review conducted after the incident. This investigation indicates that the pressure of meeting the operating targets has had a direct effect on undertaking runway inspections both safely and effectively. One Safety Recommendation is made. Read more


  • Gatwick Diamond Economic Summit – Platinum Publishing 30.07.19

At the event chaired by Victoria Kerton, Regional Director at NatWest, 165 business leaders and influencers gathered to focus on the opportunity presented by new commercial employment land identified within council Local Plans. In the keynote video speech from the CEO of Gatwick, Stewart Wingate explained how Vinci, the new owners of the airport with a 50.01% share, would continue to invest in infrastructure and engage with businesses and stakeholders ensuring that its passenger growth would continue to benefit the local economy. Read More

  • New aviation college set to open in Bromley – The Engineer 31.07.19

London South East Colleges is set to build a brand new aviation college in Bromley after the local council gave the plans the green light. Located at London Biggin Hill Airport in the south-west of the borough, the college will aim to address the growing skills shortage and increasing need for aviation and aerospace engineers in London and the south-east. The Greater London Authority (GLA) is also backing the plans, contributing a £6.2m grant from its Skills for Londoners FE Capital Investment Fund. Read more

  • Coast to Capital is seeking to appoint a business representative member to its Skills 360? Board – Coast to Capital 09.08.19

The Skills 360? Board provides strategic direction and delivers the ‘Create Skills for the Future’ priority actions included in Gatwick 360 to boost the productivity of our economy by giving people the skills they need to secure and maintain high quality jobs.  Members of the Skills 360 Board identify the major skills and recruitment challenges faced by the region and identify solutions, including investment to deliver high quality skills education and training. There is a vacancy for one business sector representative. Read more

  • Griffiths to address Aviation Club - Business travel News 12.08.19

The life and times of one of the world’s aviation hotspots are on the agenda at the Aviation Club lunch on Thursday 19 September at the Institute of Directors in London, when guest speaker will be Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffith. He joined Dubai Airports as its first CEO in October 2007 with responsibility for the operation and development of Dubai International and latterly the country’s second airport, Al Maktoum International, also known as Dubai World Central (DWC). Read more

  • Virgin doubles A350 New York frequency - Business travel News 12.08.19

With New York in the Airbus A350 spotlight as Virgin Atlantic moves to be first on the route with its new aircraft on 10 September (BTN last week), the airline is now planning to boost the service with a second A350 two weeks later. Announcing initial plans for the aircraft earlier this year, Virgin said it considered LHR–JFK a flagship route and now appears to be thinking of using more of its A350s to serve it rather than putting the aircraft on different destinations. If the second A350 is deployed on 24 September, it means Virgin will be operating 13 flights in each direction every week. Read more

  • Another bad week for BA - Business travel News 12.08.19

Another technical meltdown, strike threats and a damning survey from Which? contributed to a bruising period for British Airways last week, overshadowing grandiose plans by the company to welcome the new Airbus A350 to the fleet. The latest systems breakdown saw BA cancel some 100 flights from Heathrow and what it said was “a handful” from Gatwick and London City. Other flights suffered long delays and at least 16,000 passengers were thought to have been affected. Read more

  • COMMENT: Who is flying the flag? -  Business travel News 12.08.19

What has happened to British Airways? Yet another tech failure last week, talk of unhappy staff and strikes, plus a damning new Which? survey on Saturday. Read more

  • Shapps hints at Heathrow expansion doubts – Buying Business Travel 14.08.19

New transport secretary Grant Shapps has hinted that the government could consider a U-turn on plans to build a third runway at Heathrow. Speaking to Sky News, Shapps reiterated that Parliament voted in favour of Heathrow expansion as a means of increasing air travel capacity in the South East, but pointed out that prime minister Boris Johnson was “obviously and famously so against” the scheme back when he was elected as the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip. However, Shapps added that “there are questions about whether the whole plan stacks up”. He said: “This is privately funded. They’re going to need to make sure they bring in enough income to justify the billions of pounds spent on it. That’s something that we’ll be taking a really, really close look at – I certainly will as the new transport secretary.” Read more

  • Grant Shapps questions whether Heathrow third runway plan ‘stacks up’ - City A.M. 14.08.19

Shapps said he would be watching court cases lodged against local councils and campaigners who are concerned about the impact of noise, pollution and climate change. “I’ll be having a really close look at whether figures stack up or whether building more capacity, another runway there, would add to the charges to such an extent that it doesn’t,” he said. Read more

  • Heathrow expansion appeals to be live streamed in October - This is Local London 14.08.19

All legal cases that are challenging the Governments support for the expansion Heathrow Airport will be streamed over six days from October 17. Paul Beckford, Policy Director of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, the leading campaign organisation opposing the expansion of Heathrow, said: “This is excellent news for transparency. Read more

  • AEF releases guidance on aviation planning – Aviation Environment Federation 14.08.19

AEF has today published the next in a series of guides aimed at explaining how aviation’s environmental impacts are addressed and managed. Understanding aviation-related planning explains the role of the UK planning system in controlling development at airports and airfields, and how planning conditions have been used to limit the impact of operations. Read more

  • APD: Industry should ‘stop bleating about carbon tax’ – Travel Weekly 15.08.19

That is the view of Tim Williamson, Director of Marketing at Responsible Travel, who dismisses well-publicised industry moves to cut single-use plastic as “tokenism”. Williamson will address ABTA’s Travel Convention in Tokyo in October when he will issue a call to action on global warming, warning “We have 10 years to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.” Read more

  • Research reveals public’s challenge for industry to deliver sustainable flying - NATS 15.08.19

Improving aviation’s impact on the environment is a pressing and growing concern for the flying public, according to NATS’ annual study of attitudes to flying. Read more

  • What will be the impact of the UK ambition of “Net Zero” on the Airports NPS? - Airport Watch 18.08.19

Lawyers BDB Pitmans, for whom airport planning is an area of work, have commented on the change by the UK to a net zero carbon target by 2050 – and its effect on the aviation sector. They say the 1990 baseline was 778 million tonnes of CO2. With the 80% cut target, until 27th June, the UK had to cut CO2 emissions to 155.6 million tonnes by 2050. It now has to be reduced to 0 tonnes. Read more

  • Four UK airports threaten to ban passengers boarding flights after drinking in huge crackdown - Birmingham Live 18.08.19

East Midlands, Stansted, Manchester and Heathrow have introduced schemes to stamp out disruptive behaviour fueled by alcohol. The four major transport hubs have all introduced Pubwatch and Best Bar None measures. Read more

  • Evan Davis “The Bottom Line” programme on aviation industry CO2 – basically “there is no plan”… - Airport Watch 19.08.19

His interview is revealing, in making clear how empty the industry’s claims of reducing its CO2 in future really are. Sector representatives admit it has broken its own pledges to grow carbon neutrally and lacks firm plans to achieve it by 2050. Read more

  • Is 2019 the year flying became uncool? – China Dialogue 19.08.19

Campaigner Greta Thunberg and activists Extinction Rebellion have focused attention on aviation’s climate impacts, and a small but growing trend is taking hold. Read more

  • Is air pollution causing mental health conditions like depression? – New Scientist 20.08.19

A study published today adds to evidence that air pollution may be linked to mental health conditions. But it’s not clear yet how – and if – pollution may be affecting our brains. Read more

  • BA partner plans to develop Europe’s first waste-to-fuel plant – Air Transport World 20.08.19

British Airways has taken a step toward powering its future fleet with sustainable jet fuel after its renewable fuels partner Velocys applied to develop Europe’s first plant for turning household and commercial solid waste into sustainable fuel. Altalto Immingham Ltd., a subsidiary of renewable fuels company Velocys, which works with British Airways and Shell, has submitted a planning application to develop a site in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire into a plant that would convert over half-a-million tonnes each year of non-recyclable everyday household and commercial solid waste destined for landfill or incineration into cleaner burning sustainable jet fuel. The plant could transform items such as meal packaging, napkins and takeaway coffee cups, using technology that British Airways, part of International Airlines Group (IAG), said would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% for every tonne of sustainable jet fuel that replaces a tonne of conventional fossil fuel. Read more

  • UK's first commercial waste to aviation fuel plant proposed - Air Quality News 20.08.19

The proposed plant near Grimsby would take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household and commercial solid waste destined for landfill or incineration and turn it into clean-burning sustainable aviation fuel, which is claimed would reduce net greenhouse gases by 70% compared to the fossil fuel equivalent Read more

  • Luton airport to gain express rail link with London – Travel Weekly 21.08.19

Luton airport will gain a frequent fast link with London as part of a £600 million package of rail improvements. The upgraded rail connection is due to start by December 2020 with fast trains between London St Pancras and Luton airport Parkway station every 30 minutes. Read more.

  • Qantas to test ultra-long haul flights – Buying Business Travel 22.08.19

Qantas is planning to operate three ultra long-haul research flights as part of ‘Project Sunrise’ to gather data about in-flight crew and passenger health and wellbeing. The airline is hoping to eventually launch direct flights from the east coast of Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) to London and New York. People in the cabin, which will be mostly Qantas employees, will be fitted with wearable technology and take part in specific experiences at varying stages of the approximately 19-hour flights. Read more



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