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Gatwick expansion 'would deliver economic benefits'

Gatwick Airport says expansion there is the only way forward Credit: ITV

Gatwick Airport has responded to the Transport Committee Third Report 2015-16: Airport expansion in the South East.

The Transport Committee’s astonishing statement that the arguments ‘for and against airport expansion have changed little in a quarter of a century’ ignores the significant change within the aviation industry following the break-up of the BAA monopoly in 2009 - and the worsening of air quality in the UK which has repeatedly halted Heathrow’s plans in the past.

In one key respect, however, the committee is right to say that nothing has changed - Heathrow is still undeliverable. Fortunately, there is now a credible alternative at Gatwick that can mean Britain finally gets on with it.

The opportunity to end decades of delay and false starts can only be achieved by giving the green light for Gatwick expansion. Gatwick is the only scheme which can actually deliver the economic benefits airport expansion would bring without the dramatic and unacceptable impacts on noise and air quality.

– Gatwick Airport

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Not guilty - man who caused Gatwick security scare

It was a security scare that put Gatwick into 'lockdown' - and cost the airport £1.2m in lost business.

A Frenchman was seen dumping an air rifle in a bin in the departure hall - just hours after 130 people were killed in the Paris terror attacks.

But Jerome Chauris walked free from court, as a jury accepted his defence that his poor English meant he was confused by the signs at Gatwick.

Malcolm Shaw reports.

Three arrested over helicopter drug smuggling attempt

Three people have been arrested in connection with an alleged plot to smuggle millions of pounds worth of cocaine and heroin into the UK by helicopter.

The arrests follow a joint operation involving the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service which saw MPS officers seize around 40 kilos of cocaine and 60 kilos of heroin from a car on the M26 in Kent yesterday.

A 38-year-old man from the North Kensington area of London was arrested. A short time later NCA officers moved in to arrest two Dutch nationals aged 26 and 27 at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey.

The pair had flown in to Redhill in a helicopter from Belgium earlier in the day.

All three are now being questioned by investigators items seized during the operation are being examined. The helicopter has also been impounded.

Redhill helicopter Credit: National Crime Agency

"This international operation has successfully prevented a large quantity of class A drugs making it onto the streets of the UK. If cut and sold it is likely this haul would have had a potential street value in excess of £10 million.

“Working with partners like the MPS we are determined to do all we can to disrupt the organised crime networks involved in drug trafficking.”

– Gary Fennelly, head of NCA’s Gatwick border investigation team

Stunning success of long-haul flights

'Low cost flights to long-haul destinations would never work'. That was the claim when they recently started operating at Gatwick for the first time in 40 years.

But now we can reveal not only have half a million passengers used the new budget services - many more are on the way.

So why is it working, can it last and how much can you save?

Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse has this exclusive report

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New report: another runway would not mean more noise and emissions

A new report claims another runway would not mean more noise and emissions Credit: ITV Meridian

There was fury under the Heathrow and Gatwick flightpaths today after a new report said another runway would not mean more noise and emissions.

It's claimed new environmentally friendly planes, changes to the way they fly and more people travelling by train will lead to no worse effects for hundreds of thousands of people.

But campaigners against expansion say it's utter nonsense.

ITV Meridian spoke to John Stewart from the Against Airport Expansion group, and Peter Hind from the Independent Transport Commission.

Family under flightpath call fire service after ice hits roof

Ice, thought to have come from an aircraft, crashed down on a house in Twyford, Berkshire, as the residents were preparing breakfast. A hole about 18 inches square appeared in the roof, while tiles broke into small fragments and plaster cracked in a ceiling.

The hole in the roof at Twyford Credit: Richard Burt

On Sunday 17th January, my wife, elderly parents and I were preparing breakfast when we heard a loud bang upstairs. We discovered that a hole about 18ins square had been driven through the roof, breaking four roof tiles into small fragments and cracking the plaster of a bedroom ceiling. We were unable to open the trap door to the loft which we feared was weighed down by the contents of the loft or roof tiles.

We suspected that this had been caused by ice falling from an aircraft, presumably on its descent into Heathrow, as we are directly beneath one of the flight paths. This diagnosis was confirmed by investigation by the fire brigade As you can imagine, it caused considerable distress to my parents and, as my wife and I have just given up teaching posts in the Caribbean to become full time live-in carers, something of a climatic culture shock!

– Richard Burt

BA creates 2,000 new jobs at Gatwick and Heathrow

Staff numbers at BA will top 20,000 Credit: ITV

British Airways will recruit a record 2,000 new workers at Heathrow and Gatwick this year as the airline takes delivery of new planes and flies to new destinations.

The company says it will employ 1,600 cabin crew and 350 pilots, and comes as record numbers fly out of the region's airports.

For the first time more than 40 million passengers flew out of Gatwick last year. At Heathrow it was 75 million.

It will bring staff numbers at BA to over 20,000 which is more than ever before in the history of the company.

The airline say the staff will be needed to help operate 13 new planes including Boeing 787s and Airbus A380s. They will train at a new facility at Heathrow.

The airline will fly to 13 new destinations.

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