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Gatwick Airport initiates planning process to use its existing Northern Runway

Gatwick Airport has formally started the process to bring its existing Northern Runway into routine use by submitting a notice to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) of its intention to prepare an application for development consent.

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This action establishes the ‘Gatwick Airport Northern Runway’ project on the PINS website and is the first step in the Development Consent Order (DCO) application process.

Next month, the airport will submit a ‘Scoping Request’ to PINS, which sets out the proposed approach and key issues to be included within the process.

Following the publication of its master plan in July, Gatwick announced it would prepare a planning application known as a DCO – through a rigorous statutory process. The application is to bring the airport’s existing Northern Runway (also known as the standby runway) into routine use for smaller, departing aircraft alongside the main runway by the mid-2020s.

Tim Norwood, Gatwick’s Chief Planning Officer, said:

“As the biggest private investments in our region for many years, the start of the process to use our existing Northern Runway is a significant milestone. This project has the capacity to offer significant local economic benefits, new jobs and an exciting future for the region. As we take our plans forward, we are committed to working in partnership with our local communities, councils and partners to ensure we grow sustainably and present information in a clear and transparent way, including a more detailed stage of public consultation on the project next year.”

The first stages in the DCO process involve Gatwick carrying out surveys and preparing detailed environmental information on the Northern Runway plans later this year.

A public consultation will be held next year, after which further updates to the plans will be incorporated. An application for development consent will then be made to PINS, who will examine the application and provide a recommendation to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then make a decision.

All documents submitted to PINS by Gatwick will be publicly available on the PINS website throughout the DCO process. To read the Gatwick master plan, please visit our website.

Gatwick

727 easyJet pilots jobs at risk of redundancy as airline proposes closing bases at three UK airports

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BALPA, the trade union representing its UK-based pilots, says that easyJet has today informed them that 727 of their pilots are at risk of redundancy.

In addition, the airline is also proposing to completely close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports.

The potential job loss would see almost 1-in3 easyJet pilots lose their jobs in the UK.

 In November 2019 easyJet acquired Thomas Cook’s slots at Gatwick Airport (12 summer slot pairs and 8 winter slot pairs) and Bristol Airport (6 summer slot pairs and one winter slot pair) for £36 million.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said:

“We know that aviation is in the midst of the COVID crisis and we had been expecting easyJet to make an announcement of temporary measures to help the airline through to recovery.

“But this seems an excessive over-reaction and easyJet won’t find a supply of pilots waiting to come back when the recovery takes place over the next two years. easyJet paid £174m out to shareholders, got agreements to furlough staff to protect cash, got £600m from the Government, has boasted of having £2.4bn in liquidity, and ticket sales are going through the roof so fast they cannot get pilots back off furlough quickly enough – so why the panic? It doesn’t add up. We are meeting easyJet today and we will be fighting to save every single job.

“This is more evidence that aviation in the U.K. is caught in a death spiral of despair and individual airlines are flailing around without direction. BALPA repeats its call for Government to step in, provide a strategy and back a moratorium on job losses while all stakeholders sort out an holistic way forward for the whole aviation sector.”

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