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Fury as anti-Gatwick protest group claim ‘early Christmas present’ as thousands of passengers plans are shattered

Local anti-Gatwick protest group, CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) have caused a backlash over their apparent pleasure at the Drone closure of Gatwick yesterday.



While chaos was ensuing as emergency services rallied around to find the culprit(s) who were operating the drones causing over a hundred thousand passengers to be stranded at Gatwick the organisation & their Chairperson, Sally Pavey, took to Facebook & Twitter to state that it was “an early Christmas present for the residents surrounding Gatwick Airport as flights stop!!”

The mood of residents & travellers was soon expressed with dozens of outraged comments towards the organisation that was accused of “expressing joy at the misery of thousands of people.”

“an early Christmas present for the residents surrounding Gatwick Airport as flights stop!!”

Even those who are supportive of Cagne expressed their disappointment at the tone whilst many responses pointed out the misery felt by those whose plans had been disrupted along with the costs incurred.

One messaged:

“I spent my day with hundreds of people who have had their Christmas plans shattered. A family with a young daughter in a wheelchair who had saved to spend time with grandparents / parents they hadn’t seen for ages and many, many more stories. How can these cruel people make comments like this, I’m totally disgusted.”

Elsewhere, one Airport worker wrote:

“I have worked all day at the airport today 12 long hrs. I’ve spoken to people who have saved for two year to fly out today. A man who was attending his father’s funeral. Children who were going to Lapland for one day. All missed out because some stupid person thinks it’s ok to disrupt the airport.”

The Chair, Sally Pavey, also appeared to suggest that the Police resource being used to find the culprit is inappropriate stating:

“If we get burgled we don’t get 20 #police investigating and we are #taxpayers but at #gatwick Fly a drone and apparently they have 20 police seeking it!”

Yesterday CAGNE released a statement saying:

“Residents woke to silence from Gatwick Airport on 20th December, offering a glimpse of the tranquillity that they use to enjoy before Gatwick introduced concentrated flight paths (2013-14) and increased the number of aircraft movements.

For tens of thousands of residents of Sussex, Surrey and Kent they enjoyed some respite from the aircraft motorways above their homes that usual, in part, blight their lives day and night, and due to an out of date law, are powerless to take legal action to stop the flights from impacting their wellbeing and house value.

Although CAGNE, an umbrella community group, does not condone the irresponsible behaviour of flying drones near an airport potentially endangering lives, it was an early Christmas present for those that suffer aircraft noise.

Residents simply feel powerless to stop Gatwick’s desire to increase the number of planes above rural homes of Sussex, Surrey and Kent especially with their current draft master plan* for a 3 runway airport. The Government green paper* on aviation places the consumer and growth of aviation firmly at the top of priorities ignoring the impact aircraft noise has on mental health and wellbeing of those on the ground.

This incident must question the resilience and vulnerability of Gatwick Airport to such illegal action by unknown person/s.”



Gatwick Airport further subsidises cut-price lateral flow and PCR tests for holiday-makers



Gatwick Airport is supporting Britain’s return to travel by offering passengers significantly cheaper PCR tests, after announcing it would subsidise its on-site COVID-19 screening centres, operated by ExpressTest.

Two centres currently operate from Gatwick; a drive-in option located within the airport’s Perimeter Road South (RH6 0PQ) car park, and a walk-in centre situated within the North Terminal.

Gatwick had already subsidised ‘fit-to-fly’ on-site PCR tests since the drive-in centre opened in November last year, with the airport’s passengers and staff able to take a test for just £59.

But with the overall costs of PCR tests continuing to act as a barrier for travel for many families and the ongoing detrimental effect this is having on the aviation industry, Gatwick has decided to further reduce costs for passengers, by announcing further subsidised rates.

The following prices will be available exclusively for Gatwick passengers, via a designated discount code from Thursday 16 September 2021.   

Discount code: LGWBTT2

Lateral Flow Fit to Fly                         £2 Discount (£33 from £35)

Discount code: LGWBTT10

Green Arrivals Test                             £10 Discount (£59 from £69)

Amber Arrivals Test                            £10 Discount (£59 from £69)

PCR Test to Release Test                  £10 Discount (£59 from £69)

The PCR ‘Fit to Fly’ test will remain at the already subsidised price of £59.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said: Gatwick Airport recognises that the cost of PCR tests is prohibitive and acts as barrier preventing larger numbers from booking international travel. We are therefore pleased to be able to offer passengers a more cost-effective solution, conveniently located at the airport, to help people get away on a much-needed holiday, to visit loved ones abroad or travel for business.”

Gatwick has repeatedly called on Government to loosen the existing restrictions and abolish the need for double vaccinated travellers to green and amber countries to be tested altogether – to help increase bookings and ultimately preserve jobs in and around the airport.

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