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Airbus on final approach to Gatwick in narrow miss with drone

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An Airbus A320 was forced off its final approach to landing at Gatwick Airport after the pilot spotted a drone directly ahead of them.

The report which has finally been released by the UK Airprox Board said that the pilot of the aircraft which was in its final stages to RW26 at Gatwick had to take ‘Avoiding Action’ of a 5-8 degree bank to the right to avoid a drone.

The pilot said that he saw a dark coloured drone which was ahead of them.

According to the report the drone was being flown above the maximum permitted height of 400ft and was within controlled airspace.

This meant that it was endangering other aircraft around it.

The incident happened on the 28th April and was classed as a category A which is the highest risk category given.

Gatwick

‘Devastating news’ reaction as airport ground handler Swissport, which serves Gatwick, cuts over 4,500 jobs

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Over 4,500 jobs are to be lost at airport ground handling firm Swissport.

Staff were told that 4,556 jobs are to be cut, more than half of its 8,500 UK workforce.

The company which supplies and manages baggage handlers and check-in workers at airports across the UK including Gatwick told staff via their chief executive that they had never seen anything like COVID-19 before and whilst they had survived problems in the past, this time it was different.

Unions Unite and GMB have instantly called on government to announce bespoke financial package to save the beleaguered aviation industry.

Unite and the GMB the two union’s representing Swissport workers, described the company’s decision to cut at least 4,556 jobs as ‘devastating news’.

Swissport is the country’s largest ground handler; handling flights coming into nearly every regional airport across the UK. It provides ground handling services to many major airlines, including ticketing and baggage handling. 

In light of the announcement, the unions have renewed calls for a bespoke financial package from the UK government to support the aviation industry and save thousands of jobs as the economy continues to reopen.  

Oliver Richardson, Unite national officer, said: 

We can’t wait any longer, the UK Government needs to urgently intervene with a bespoke financial package and an extension of the 80 per cent furlough scheme for the aviation industry. 

“Speed is of the essence if the government is to save thousands of aviation jobs and livelihoods. It’s not too late.”

Nadine Houghton GMB National Officer said:

“This is devastating news. At least 4,000 workers – and possibly many more – will lose jobs which are essential to regional economies. 

“With Swissport now considering job cuts on this scale we have deep concerns about the viability of many of our regional airports and the benefits for regional connectivity that they bring.”

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