Labour slams £100bn spending plans

The Government must "pull its finger out and start building", Labour said in the wake of today's raft of infrastructure announcements.

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New budget airline offers cheap US flights from Gatwick

A new budget airline is offering cheaper flights from our region to the United States. It's claimed Norwegian Airlines wants to use a loophole to employ cheap labour for new flights from Gatwick Airport to New York, Los Angeles and Florida.

But, with taxes and extras, it might not be as cheap as it says. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse caught the inaugural flight to New York and sends this report.

Security alert at the region's airports after USA warning

by Mike Pearse

There's a security clampdown at airports tonight - after a new terror alert, issued by the Government of the United States of America. There are fears that al-Qaeda groups are targetting the aviation industry once again.

The alert came on the day new low-cost routes were introduced from Gatwick - to the United States. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

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Airline to fly to LA and New York for as little as £150

The first new low cost airline for 40 years to fly from the the UK to the United States is taking off today from Gatwick.

Norwegian will fly the new Dreamliner to New York, Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles from as little as £150.

But unions claim the airline want to use cheap labour from South Asia and have concerns over safety, which the airline deny.

Campaigners angry over Gatwick expansion plans

Campaigners against an expansion of Gatwick Airport say plans for a second runway are "horrendous" - and much larger than they were led to believe.

The proposals - set out in a 3000 page document - have been sent to the Airports Commission but have NOT yet been published.

It would see Gatwick almost triple in size - with passenger numbers up to 97 million a year - thats bigger than Heathrow. From Westminster - our Transport Correspondent - Mike Pearse sent this.

Man jailed after hiding drugs in trousers

A man who tried to smuggle a kilo of cocaine through Gatwick Airport, by hiding it in a pair of trousers, has been jailed for 5 years. Hungarian national Sandor Malnai, who's 49, was stopped by Border Force officers who spotted a pair of "unnaturally stiff" green trousers in his luggage.

Malnai believed he could get his illicit cargo past our border controls and as a result he now faces a substantial amount of time behind bars. Our highly-trained Border Force officers are on the front line of the fight to stop illegal drugs like cocaine making it on to the UK's streets and causing harm to our communities. Working with the NCA, we are determined to do all we can to tackle traffickers and the criminal groups behind smuggling."

– Carole Upshall, Border Force South regional director

'Gatwick's big enough' say conservation group

A conservation group are campaigning against Gatwick's proposal to add a second runway to the airport.

Gatwick Airport Conservation Campaign (GACC) group are against Gatwick's plan for another runway, which would make the airport as large as Heathrow.

The group have already campaigned twice against Gatwick in its bid to build a second runway.

Volunteers from the group have been giving out leaflets and recruiting members outside runway exhibitions, including Crawley and Ifield.

The GACC vice chairman, Peter Barclay, said: "Many people are confused by the airport response form which has 278 boxes which you can tick but only one well-hidden little box labelled 'None of these options' if you wish to say No to a new runway."

A number of local action groups, from Tunbridge Wells to Horsham, have been formed opposing a new runway - all working with GACC. For instance, in Crawley the all-Party ‘One’s Enough’ group has been re-started: it had great success in 2003 in persuading Crawley Council to switch from a position of support for a new runway to one of unanimous opposition."

– Brendon Sewill, chairman of Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign

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Gatwick sees 5% rise in passengers

The airport has seen a 5% rise in passengers in March Credit: ITV Meridian

There has been an increase in the number of passengers flying through Gatwick last month.

The West Sussex airport handled more than 2.7 million passengers in March - a 5% rise since March 2013.

The rise came despite a dip in North Atlantic traffic and no US Airways flights from Gatwick in 2013.

Gatwick bosses are hoping that the summer's launch of three new Norwegian Air Shuttle routes to America will help increase traffic to the region.

Last week, the House of Commons Transport Committee criticised Gatwick and its handling of the Christmas Eve crisis when flooding caused a power failure which led to flight cancellations.

Gatwick's response to report criticism

London Gatwick has issued a statement to the report: “Gatwick welcomes the Transport Select Committee’s report and fully accepts its recommendations.

"Following the events of Christmas Eve, Gatwick set aside a £30 million resilience fund and immediately began projects to strengthen flood defences.

"In partnership with its airlines, extensive work has already been undertaken to improve contingency plans and passenger welfare in times of disruption.

"It is now important to focus on the future and today’s report coupled with David McMillan’s accepted recommendations will help ensure the entire airport community makes the improvements required.”

Gatwick Airport chaos should be a "wake-up call" to other airports

The Christmas Eve chaos should be a "wake-up call" to other airports Credit: ITV News

A report into the chaos on Christmas Eve at Gatwick after flooding caused a power failure suggests the disruption should be a wake-up call to other airports.

More than 11,000 passengers were affected by the delays and cancellations Credit: ITV News

More than eleven thousand passengers were affected by the delays and cancellations in 2013. Passengers complained of inconsistent information and a lack of facilities.

Gatwick criticised for how it dealt with power cut

Gatwick Airport has been criticised for how it dealt with a power cut on Christmas Eve Credit: PA

A report into the chaos at Gatwick airport on Christmas Eve should be 'a wake-up call for airports across the UK' in dealing with disruption.

More than 11,000 passengers were affected by delays and cancellations after flooding caused a power failure at the airport.

A report into the problems looked at what passengers were not happy with, which included:

  • Lack of clarity about who was in charge

  • A lack of basic facilities, such as toilets and drinking water

  • Confusion about what expenses passengers could be reimbursed for, particularly if alternative flights had been arranged

Louise Ellman, chair of the Transport Committee said, "Many staff at Gatwick, working for the airport, the airlines, and other operators such as the baggage handlers, worked extremely hard to keep flights operating on Christmas Eve and to look after passengers.

"But the problems that unfolded were not new and the whole event should be a wake-up call for airports across the UK to improve their operational resilience.

"Airports must ensure that their contingency planning is good enough to ensure that future disruption will be met with well-drilled arrangements that are familiar to airline operators, airlines and other contractors, and which put passenger interests first."

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