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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.”



Over a tonne of dangerous skin lightening creams seized at Gatwick Airport

More than a tonne of potentially carcinogenic cosmetics, including skin lightening creams, were seized at Gatwick Airport.



West Sussex Trading Standards officers came to inspect the products after they were alerted by Border Force.

Officers noticed many of these brands had previously been found to contain hydroquinone – a banned substance linked to causing cancer.

Ten products were sent for safety testing and all failed. Eight contained hydroquinone and two were incorrectly labelled.

An investigation is taking place into the importer.

The products arrived into Gatwick Airport on 15 May 2019.

Peter Aston, Trading Standards Team Manager, said:

“Skin lightening creams containing hydroquinone that haven’t been prescribed by a doctor are banned in the UK, as they can cause serious side effects if used incorrectly. 

“Although some of the products detained listed hydroquinone as an ingredient, most did not and we must remind those using these types of products to only buy from reputable sources.”

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member, said:

“These products are very dangerous and have been linked to causing cancer and other skin diseases. I would like to thank our Trading Standards team for helping to put a stop to this unscrupulous trade.”

If you have been supplied with a skin lightening cream that lists hydroquinone as an ingredient, you can let Trading Standards know by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 0405060 or by visiting

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