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Could Gatwick expansion herald new era of cheap flights?

A little known airline has waded into the debate about the expansion of Gatwick airport after announcing plans to double the number of low cost trans-altantic flights it offers.

Norwegian Air currently flies 42 routes from the Sussex airport, including four to the US with prices as low as £300. In the New Year this number will double in a move the boss of Gatwick has described as a 'game changer' - both for the future of trans-Atlantic travel and for the debate about future airport expansion. John Ryall reports, and speaks to Gatwick's Chief Commercial Officer, Guy Stephenson

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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

Drunk driver jailed after crashing into car four times

A woman has been jailed after she repeatedly crashed her vehicle into a parked car while more than five times the drink-drive limit.

Phillipa Jutton

Police were called after residents saw Phillipa Jutton's Toyota Aygo roll forward and hit a car in Glebe Close, Eastbourne, shortly before 10pm on 15 October.

Jutton appeared to be asleep at the wheel and when one of the residents spoke to her she tried to drive away, hitting the same car three more times with her Toyota before she could get past it.

When officers arrived they breathalysed the 33-year-old and recorded a reading of 188 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of her breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol.

Jutton, of Greys Road, Eastbourne, pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving without due care and attention when she appeared at Hastings Magistrates' Court.

The reading on her breath test was so high that it was off the sentencing scale that magistrates are given to help them decide on punishments.

Jutton was jailed for six weeks, banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.

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Spectacular pumpkin creations from across the region

Thousands of people across the ITV Meridian region have spent hours patiently carving some spectacular pumpkin creations for Halloween tonight. Here's just a few:

Mary Shephard's ocean themed pumpkin
Some impressive work from Glaysher Family Butchers
The Glaysher Family Butchers' amazing effort
A slightly less scary design from the Fosters in Godalming
Michelle Brown's impressive sculpting
Andy Walsh's Harry Potter themed pumpkin

Please send your pumpkin photos to itvnewsmeridian@itv.com

Prison for man who attacked parking warden over ticket

Dale Fish attacked a parking warden over a ticket Credit: Sussex Police

A man has been sentenced to more than a year in prison for attacking a traffic warden in Worthing.

Dale Fish, 21, carpenter, of Brighton Road, Worthing has been sent to prison for 16 months after pleading guilty of dangerous driving and ABH at Chichester Crown Court on Wednesday, October 22.

On February 19 Fish was given a parking ticket after parking his Ford Fiesta in Church Walk around 10.50am. He then drove his car at the victim, a 21-year-old parking warden, before punching him and knocking him to the ground.

Fish was arrested and charged with the offences.

"Fish attacked this man who was just doing his job and left him with a lot of nasty cuts and bruises, which is totally unacceptable behaviour."

– DC Andy Hobden

Firefighters go on strike today

Firefighters are to go on strike, from this evening, for four days in a bitter ongoing row with the Government over pensions.

They're set to walk out from six o'clock this Hallowe'en evening, until next Tuesday. Contingency plans are in place. Managers say they've hired in contract staff to cover but this is one of the busiest weekends of the year with bonfires and firework displays.

Fire crews prepare to strike in a row over pensions Credit: ITV Meridian
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