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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.


Airports and airlines warn of flight delays

Flybe is cancelling some flights Credit: Meridian

Flybe has been asked by the French aviation authorities to reduce its flying programme because of industrial action by air traffic controllers. The company is asking passengers to check its website for information.

Flybe says: "We been advised that French Unions have called for an official six-day strike scheduled to take place in France between 0400 (French local time) Tuesday 24th June and 0400 (French local time) on Monday 30th June, 2014.

The region's other airports, including Gatwick are also issuing advice.

  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

New hope for Manston

After having an offer of around £5 million to buy Manston airport rejected, a Riveroak representative has told Meridian "We don't think the bid was too low but clearly the owner thinks it's too low. And there will be further discussions with the owner."

Tony Freudmann, once the airport's operations director said new talks are planned : "The discussions will be confidential and will be conducted by the CEO of RiverOak in person.

"Ultimately it depends on the response of the present owner but I think that when she hears from the Chief Executive of RiverOak that she will decide that it's a fair offer and she should accept."

Talks are planned for today or tomorrow.

'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


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.

Solutions to aircraft noise being discussed in summit

The first ever summit to discuss solutions to the issue of aircraft noise is taking place today.

Air bosses including the Chief Executive of Gatwick are taking part, as well as representatives from Heathrow.

The Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise are talking at the event too.

Stewart Wingate has promised around 4000 households most affected by noise from a possible second runway there would get £1000 towards their council tax.

Solutions to aircraft noise is being discussed at a summit today Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Number of flights from Farnborough could double

It's a private airport for the executive jets of the rich and famous. But anti-noise campaigners say plans to change the flight paths for Farnborough Airport will mean misery for those living underneath the routes in Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey.

Under the new plan there will be dedicated flight paths for aircraft landing and taking off. It means areas like Fleet and Church Crookham will see less flights overhead. But small villages like Crondall and Ewshot would see an increase.

The number of flights from Farnborough could almost double to 50 thousand over the next five years. Our Transport Correspondent, Mike Pearse, reports.

  1. Chris Maughan

Airport expansion: The view from Heathrow Airport

While many believe another runway is needed in our region, few want it in their back yard. Although the expansion of Heathrow could create thousands more jobs, it would also bring more aircraft noise and pollution. And in some cases whole communities could be wiped out.

Chris Maughan has been finding out what the expansion of Heathrow would mean for those living under the flightpath.

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