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Union seeks 'clarification' over potential airport closure

The Unite union has responded to an announcement from the managers of Manston Airport in Kent that the site could close. Union officials said they were seeking clarification about the airport's future. A 45-day period of consultation has begun.

“The news has just broken and I am seeking clarification from the management about the airport’s future. Until I have had that conversation, it would not be appropriate to comment at length.

“Unite is the major union at the airport and represents employees, such as the fire service and the baggage handlers. Unite will do everything possible to safeguard the interests of our members in the days and weeks ahead.

“Any loss of employment would be a hard blow for the local economy.”

– Ian McCoulough, Unite regional officer

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  1. Mike Pearse

First female flier to win scholarship begins training

A 19 year-old from Hampshire has become the first woman to be win a flying scholarship from Farnborough Airport. Training to become a pilot costs tens of thousands of pounds. The grant scheme assists young local people with the initial cost of lessons.

The scheme also helps to keep the tradition of flying alive at the birthplace of British aviation.

Farnborough was the site of of the first ever powered flight in Britain. ITV Meridian's Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

"It's a lot of hard work, but I'm willing to take it on..." says first female to win pilot training scholarship at Farnborough

Miriam Pratap says she welcomes the challenge of learning to fly at Farnborough

The first woman has joined a scheme that allows young people to learn how to fly at the British home of aviation in Farnborough.

NIneteen-year-old Miriam Pratap from local area, has been awarded a scholarship to help her start her training. Learning how to become a pilot can cost more than £100,000.

Some of the pilot training takes place in a flight simulator
  1. Malcolm Shaw

The arguments for & against Gatwick Airport expansion

The Davies report into the future of aviation in the South highlights that airport expansion is desperately needed in the south east - but few people want a new runway in their backyard. While growth could create more jobs, it would also bring more aircraft noise and pollution.

Gatwick Airport still has a lot of spare capacity. But, is a new runway even necessary? Our correspondent Malcolm Shaw has been looking at the arguments.

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Flight path consultation underway - have your say

The changes mean more flights from Gatwick Airport in West Sussex Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The consultation is available online at here . The postcode search facility and clickable maps with consultation areas clearly marked makes it easy to see which proposed changes have the most relevance to a specificlocation. Feedback can be given directly on the website.

Juliet Kennedy, NATS’ Operations Director, Swanwick, Hampshire said: “The airspace change programme is essential if we are to contribute to and ensure the success of the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS).”

Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility at London Gatwick, West Sussex, said: “Gatwick is committed to leading the way in terms of airspace innovation and operation, which is why we were so keen to be the first major UK airport to work with NATS to fully review and consult on our airspace.

“Gatwick’s noise impacts are already well mitigated and significantly lower than at other major airports. However, the airport continues to look at ways to further reduce the number of people affected by aircraft noise in line with Government policy.

“This project gives us an opportunity to further reduce the number of people affected by noise, as well as focus on further reducing Co2 emissions and air quality impacts."

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