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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."

Plans unveiled for second runway at Gatwick

Gatwick Airport has today revealed plans for a controversial second runway.

It would cost £7 billion pounds and open in 2025. The airport says it would be the biggest-ever boost to the local economy- £56 billion pounds and with 19,000 new jobs.

Gatwick say a third runway should not be built at Heathrow and are launching a massive campaign against it.

Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

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Gatwick Airport release vision for new runway

The owners of Gatwick Airport have released footage of their plans to build a new runway.

The airport claims that the expansion would help the UK connect to 27 more destinations than a third runway at Heathrow, while a key architect behind the plans suggests the move could spark an Olympic-style boost for the economy of south London.

Council tax vow over 2nd runway noise

Around 4,000 households most affected by noise from a possible second runway at

Gatwick will get £1,000 towards their council tax, bosses of the West Sussexairport have promised.

The pledge involves annual compensation and is equivalent to Band A council tax. Gatwick chiefs are pressing hard for an extra runway and such an option is on the shortlist now being considered by the Whitehall-appointed Airports Commission.

Expansion at Gatwick would, without doubt, deliver many upsides for our local community in terms of jobs and investment. But we must also recognise the negative noise impacts on local people from more flights. Gatwick's location obviously means that comparatively fewer people would be affected by a new runway. However, I believe we must do more to help those that would be affected. Under the scheme, we are pledging £1,000 towards council tax for qualifying households in the local area, if and when a second runway became operational."

– Gatwick's chief executive, Stewart Wingate

One of those opposed to a second runway at Gatwick is Horsham Tory MP FrancisMaude. He addressed more than 300 residents of the village of Warnham who areobjecting to a new Gatwick flight path trial.

Even these last few weeks, with the weather keeping people indoors and off-season traffic levels, the noise from the flight path trial has been unacceptable for local residents. When high holiday season is on us, with the warm weather enticing people outside, the effects are likely to be intolerable. So I'm urging (air traffic control company) Nats and Gatwick to call time on this trial now. We've had the trial. It's failed."

– Francis Maude MP, Horsham Con

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Airspace consultation coming to an end

*People in Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Essex and Hampshire have one last chance to have their say on the positioning of new flight paths. *NATS, the UK's leading provider of air traffic services, and Gatwick are nearing completion of a joint consultation on proposed airspace changes.

This input could be on noise sensitive sites such as open areas or noise sensitive industries - specifically any place which could be affected if aircraft were to fly directly over it. Stakeholders are also being asked for their views on how to balance limiting CO2 emissions with noise.

This information will be used to help establish new routes which offer the most benefit with the least possible impact. However, people living and working in the consultation areas are warned while some may not notice a change in flight numbers others may experience a significant increase.

Gatwick Express closed until January 2 for vital work

Vital improvement works are needed at three locations. Credit: Meridian

Gatwick Express services will not run until January 2. Network Rail will undertake vital improvement work at three locations on the network: replacing a major rail junction near Purley (north of Gatwick), upgrading signalling at Victoria and working on a new platform at Gatwick Airport station.

Southern, which operates operates Gatwick Express, will run a revised train and bus replacement service between London and Gatwick Airport between December 26 and January 1. Details of the revised services on this link.

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