Live updates

Leaflet drop to 500,000 homes to push Gatwick's bid for expansion

It is the latest move in the battle between Heathrow and Gatwick as they both aim to win support for airport expansion.

Gatwick say expansion at Heathrow would lead to tens of thousands more people suffering aircraft noise. Heathrow say it has the best runway plan that would not see overall noise increase and create tens of thousands of jobs.

The Airport Commission will announce its recommendation in June.

Advertisement

Romantic getaways boost Gatwick numbers

Lucky for some... Gatwick is on course for a record breaking Valentine's weekend Credit: PA

Gatwick is set for a record breaking Valentine's weekend and half term holiday - with almost a million passengers passing through its doors. That's a 6 per cent increase on last year. Geneva is the most popular destination for the third year in a row, as families head to the ski slopes.

An unprecedented 982,000 people are expected to use the airport between Friday February 13 and Sunday February 22. Passenger numbers for the Valentine's Day weekend alone are also up by 7.9%, with the total number of flyers at more than 400,000. Couples travelling on Valentine's Day will be treated to a gift of a teddy bear and a box of luxury chocolates to ensure love is in the air, and a Queen of Hearts stilt walker will be in the terminal to meet and greet.

City breaks dominate the great British getaways, with Barcelona in second place, closely followed by Dublin and Amsterdam. Nick Pope, Operations Manager at London Gatwick, said "The figures show record numbers will be travelling through the airport during the upcoming Valentine's weekend and half-term, and we look forward to welcoming passengers and helping them enjoy the experience of travelling through Gatwick.

The Top 10 list of half term destinations from London Gatwick 2015:

  • Geneva
  • Barcelona
  • Dublin
  • Amsterdam
  • Tenerife
  • Madrid
  • Copenhagen
  • Edinburgh
  • Dubai
  • Belfast

Millions of pounds announced for Gatwick

More than £30 million has been pledged to improve the area around Gatwick with new houses, transport infrastructure and jobs.

The announcement was made by Conservative MP for Portsmouth North Penny Mordaunt at Gatwick Airport this morning.

Plane returns to Gatwick after part falls off

A passenger jet was forced to return to Gatwick Airport part-way through its flight to Egypt after a part plunged to the ground.

Library photo Credit: Press Association

Thomas Cook Flight TCX1638 left the West Sussex airport at 9am this morning with 237 passengers on board but had to turn back a short time into its flight to Hurghada.

The object is believed to have fallen from the plane near the Kent and East Sussex border, but it was not until the jet was over Belgium that the fault was reported.

None of the passengers were injured after the over wing slide unit plummeted, which led to a probe by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) being launched.

A Kent Police spokesman said:

"Kent Police was called at 11.15am to reports of an object falling from an airplane above the Langton Green and Groombridge area.

"Officers are trying to locate the object which is believed to have landed close to the Kent and Sussex border. Anyone with information should contact 101."

Whilst airborne, the slide unit has fallen from the aircraft and we are aware that local police have been informed.

The aircraft landed safely at Gatwick Airport and we are now immediately undertaking a full investigation and working with the airline authorities. We'd like to apologise to our customers for the delay to their flight.

– Thomas Cook Airlines

Advertisement

Ebola screening at Gatwick

Gatwick airport Credit: P.A.

Screening for Ebola at Gatwick Airport will begin, say Public Health Enland.

It will start in North Terminal, then checks will begin at South Terminal,

followed by St Pancras (Eurostar) later this week, a spokesman said.

He added: "This expands the screening initiated at Heathrow last week, which

is going well. Manchester and Birmingham airports will follow in the coming

weeks.

"Screening is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from

high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive

expert advice immediately. We are also providing all general practices,

emergency departments, and pharmacies in England with awareness posters from

this week. Public Health England will continue to consider other appropriate

additional measures."

The screening is taking place for passengers that Border Force officers

identify as having travelled from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.<

Passengers have their temperature taken and complete a questionnaire asking

about their current health, recent travel history and whether they might be at

potential risk through contact with Ebola patients.<

Based on the information provided and their temperature, passengers will either

be given advice and allowed to continue their journey, or undergo a clinical

assessment by PHE staff and if necessary be transferred to hospital for further

tests.

"Screening is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive expert advice immediately. We are also providing all general practices, emergency departments, and pharmacies in England with awareness posters from this week. Public Health England will continue to consider other appropriate additional measures."

– Public Health England

Ebola round-up: how the region is responding to crisis

Army medics are, tonight, preparing to travel to West Africa - to join efforts to stop the deadly Ebola virus spreading.

Teams from Aldershot have been practising in a 'mock' hospital unit to prepare themselves - or at least try to prepare - for what lies ahead in Sierra Leone.

Heathrow and Gatwick airports are getting ready to screen passengers arriving from areas affected by the disease.

Juliette Fletcher has been speaking to families waiting anxiously for news of relatives - and to the fundraisers who want to help.

Load more updates