GATCOM Weekly News - November 2019


CAA: Call for Evidence on recognised assistance dogs

View the Consultation documents and guidance here. Submissions via email to consumerenforcement@caa.co.uk by Friday 10 January 2020.

Transport Strategy for the South East - Consultation Draft

Transport for the South East (TfSE) has launched a consultation on its draft Transport Strategy. The closing date for comments is 10 January 2020.

Click here to see TfSE press release, click here to see the consultation document and click here to see the Executive Summary. 

GATCOM members' views to be sent to the GATCOM Secretariat by close of business on Monday 2 December for consideration in the preparation of a draft GATCOM response to the consultation. 


  • Home Office downgrades terror threat for UK - Travel Mole 04.11.191

The Home Office has downgraded the terror threat for the UK to its lowest level since August 2014. The threat has been reduced from 'severe' to 'substantial', which means the UK remains at a 'high level of threat' and an attack 'might well occur without further warning'. Substantial is the third of five levels. Read more

  • South Western Railway staff to strike for 27 days - Buying Business Travel 05.11.19

Rail union RMT has announced 27 days of strike action affecting South Western Railway (SWR) services throughout December in a long-running dispute over the role of guards. The union has instructed members employed by SWR not to book on for duty from 0001 on Monday, 2 December until 2359 on Wednesday, 11 December, again between 0001 on Friday, 13 December and 2359 Tuesday, 24 December, and finally from 0001 on Friday, 27 December until 2359 on Wednesday, 1 January. Read more

  • Lufthansa strike: Cabin crew walkout set to demolish flight schedules - Independent 05.11.19

A Lufthansa cabin crew strike is set to disrupt hundreds of flights. The UFO union has called a 48-hour strike for Thursday 7 and Friday 8 November, in a dispute over pay and conditions. The walkout could wreck the travel plans of those heading to Germany for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Saturday. Last week cabin crew voted in favour of indefinite industrial action. Read more

  • At least 180,000 Lufthansa passengers hit by cabin crew strike - travel Weekly 07.11.19

A 48-hour strike by cabin crew has forced Lufthansa to cancel 1,300 flights. The walkout started today and will affect around 180,000 passengers, the German airline confirmed. Lufthansa expects to operate 2,300 out of 3,000 planned flights today and 2,400 out of 3,000 on Friday. Other airlines in the Lufthansa group are being drafted in with larger aircraft to try to provide alternative flight options. Read more


  • Opposition to Gatwick expansion 'must become key election issue' - Travel Weekly 04.11.19

Gatwick's expansion plans should be made an election issue, local campaigners have urged. Political parties must pledge to stop expansion of the airport, including plans to bring its second parallel emergency runway into regular use. The call comes from Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (Cagne), which is running a 'stop Gatwick expansion roadshow in four local locations this month. Read more

  • SSP partners with Cornish pasty pioneer to open at Gatwick - The Moodie Davitt Report 05.11.19

Travel food & beverage specialist SSP Group is partnering with a Cornwall-based bakery which bills itself as the "world's oldest Cornish pasty producer" to open a new outlet at Gatwick Airport. Warrens Bakery, which runs 80 stores in the UK, opens this month in 300sq m with seating for 138 people. The bakery's range of Cornish pasties, which are made to traditional recipes and hand crimped at its bakery in Penzance, will be a staple of its offer. The café will be serving up British classics for breakfast, lunch and all-day snacking including breakfast baps, Belgian buns, sandwiches and pastries. Read more

  • intu MK backs sunflower lanyard scheme ahead of Purple Tuesday - 06.11.19

Demand for the initiative has soared since it was first introduced by Gatwick Airport, with more than 10,000 sunflower lanyards collected from there following its launch three years ago. intu has worked with Gatwick Airport to roll out the scheme at its popular shopping and leisure destinations across the UK and has also introduced a sunflower dog lead sleeve that will allow staff to easily recognise and support anyone bringing the animal into an intu centre. Read more

  • Airport caviar outlets failing to warn fliers on customs limits - Guardian 06.11.19

Staff at gourmet seafood bars in airports including Heathrow and Gatwick have been allowing passengers to buy potentially illegal amounts of caviar for travel, the Guardian has found. Caviar is a restricted product under rules governing worldwide trade, with a personal allowance of 125g for most international travel. At Heathrow, Gatwick, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Copenhagen and Zurich airports, staff for one leading chain, Caviar House & Prunier, incorrectly said there was no limit or that it was more than 1kg. Read more

  • Demand for digital travel experiences takes off - Travel Weekly 07.11.19

UK travellers are demanding a high quality digital experience from airlines and hotels, new research reveals. Two thirds (67%) of millennial travellers in the UK now actively consider whether an airline offers a good digital offering when booking a flight, while half (51%) consider it when choosing accommodation. Read more

  • Carriers urge new government to rule out per passenger levy - Travel Weekly 07.11.19

The new government must rule out a pre-passenger levy to fund repatriation when airlines fail. The demand is one of a number put forward by industry association Airlines UK ahead of the December 12 general election. The organisation also wants to see insolvency laws updated to 'keep the fleet flying' in the event of an airline entering administration, and Air Passenger Duty cut by at least 50% across the board, with a long term aim of abolishing the tax. There must also be government support to deliver 'net zero carbon' aviation, grow connectivity and deliver new airport capacity including the expansion of Heathrow. Read more

  • Concern raised over new Heathrow rail link - Travel Weekly 07.11.19

The backers of a planned new Heathrow rail link fear it will not be completed until 2030 as rail capacity is raised in phases. The concern was raised by the independent Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) on publication of strategic objectives for southern access to the London hub by the Department for Transport. The department also wants to consider alternative transport options including light rail, bus rapid transit, guided busways, autonomous vehicles; or a combination of them. Read more

  • EasyJet buys Thomas Cook slots at Gatwick & Bristol - UK Aviation News 08.11.19

Low cost carrier EasyJet (U2/EZY) has bought the landing slots that belonged to Thomas Cook at Bristol and Gatwick Airports. EasyJet paid £36m for the slots which include 12 summer pairs and 8 winter pairs at Gatwick and 6 summer slot pairs and 1 winter pair at Bristol. Read more

  • Airlines face triple challenge as global demand slows - Travel Weekly 08.11.19

The global airline sector faces serious headwinds against a triple challenge of economic decline, punitive taxes and regulation. The warning was issued as Iata released figures for September showing an eighth consecutive month of below average demand growth. European carriers suffered the weakest performance this year. Read more


  • Pause runaway expansion in response to climate emergency - AEF 30.10.19

The Government must suspend any increase in UK airport capacity until it has developed a climate change plan for aircraft emissions. The call for an immediate moratorium is set out in a letter to the Secretaries of State for Transport and for Housing, Communities and Local Government signed by the Aviation Environment Federation, the Aviation Communities Forum, and community campaign groups. Read more and see full letter

  • One student stands up against flights for unnecessary, high carbon, field trips for university courses - Airport Watch 01.11.19

Writing in a blog for "FlightFree 2020" a courageous student, studying for an MSc in Environmental Protection and Management at Edinburgh University, has refused to go on a field trip - even though it was a compulsory part of her course - because she did not feel she could justify the huge carbon emissions the flight would create. Read more

  • How can passengers board planes quickly and efficiently? - Independent 02.11.19

Opinion piece by Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent, regarding the Gatwick boarding trial. Read more 

  • Olivia Wilde: blunting the scissors of the in-flight movie censors - Guardian 02.11.19

The Booksmart director is rightly up in arms about her film being edited by an airline. Read more

  • Ryanair warns of job losses and reduces profit guidance - Travel Mole 04.11.19

Ryanair's share price rose 3% in early trade today despite the airline narrowing its profit guidance and warning of job losses. The airline blamed the 737 MAX delays for the job cuts, saying it will be forced to cut or close a number of loss making bases this winter. Reporting an unchanged first half profit of €1.15 billion, Ryanair has narrowed full year profit guidance to €800m to €900m, down from its previous range of €750m to €950m. Read more

  • IAG signs €1bn Air Europa deal - Buying Business Travel 04.11.19

International Airlines Group (IAG) has agreed to acquire Spanish carrier Air Europa for €1 billion through its Iberia subsidiary. The British Airways owner said the deal will transform its Madrid hub into "a true rival to Europe's four largest hubs: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle". Read more

  • Anniversary honour for Concorde Fleet - Business Travel News 04.11.19

The BA Concorde Fleet was handed a perfect excuse for celebrating the 16th anniversary of the last scheduled flight by the supersonic airliner last month when it was awarded the Brackley Memorial Trophy from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots (HCAP). Read more

  • Emissions-free vehicles for Heathrow - Business Travel News 04.11.19

Autonomous emissions-free baggage vehicles have gone on trial with British Airways at Heathrow in a move the airline says will help it to improve punctuality further and "depart every flight on time". Read more 

  • United on environmental trail - Business Travel News 04.11.19

The industry-wide campaign to protect the environment took another step last week with United Airlines committing US$40m (about £31m) toward a new investment vehicle focused on accelerating the development of sustainable aviation fuels and other decarbonisation technologies. Read more

  • No fly zone: I didn't catch a plane for a year and saved 19 tonnes of Co2 - Guardian 04/11/2019

What is the single thing that you could do that would most reduce your carbon footprint? Take your bike to work rather than your car? Dig up your lawn for a vegetable garden? For me, an academic scientist living and working in Auckland, New Zealand, I reasoned that the most significant thing I could do was to stop flying. Read more

  • Scathing report on failings that brought Thomas Cook down - Travel Mole 05.11.19

MPs have concluded that a series of misjudgements caused Thomas Cook's demise, laying the blame firmly at the management's door. But the inquiry by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee also noted the 'extraordinary lack of interest' shown by the Government's Business Department and its Secretary of State in the days and weeks leading up to the collapse. Read more

  • Water on some airlines is so unclean it's not fit for hand-washing, study reveals - Independent 05.11.19

Studying the water quality on 11 major US carriers and 12 regional ones, the 2019 Airline Water Study, compiled by DietDetective.com and the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center, found that only four out of 23 had "relatively safe, clean water". The study scored each airline on a scale of 0 (worst) to five (best) based on 10 criteria, including positive E. coli and coliform water sample reports. Any airline that scored a 3 or above was deemed to have relatively safe, clean water. Read more

  • Boeing whistleblower raises doubts over 787 oxygen system - BBC 05.11.19

A Boeing whistleblower has claimed that passengers on its 787 Dreamliner could be left without oxygen if the cabin were to suffer a sudden decompression. John Barnett, a former quality control engineer, says tests suggest up to a quarter of the oxygen systems could be faulty and might not work when needed. He also claimed faulty parts were deliberately fitted to planes on the production line at one Boeing factory. Read more

  • Private jets: 40% of these flights are empty. Further reason to ground them - Guardian 05.11.19

Private jets produce many times more carbon per passenger than economy flights, not least because about 40% of trips are empty return legs. The carbon footprint of the sector has been cut by 40% in 40 years, with targets to halve emissions by mid-century, compared with 2005 levels. But the main argument defending private jets is that they make up such a small part of the climate problem - the EBAA claims private jets are responsible for 2% of civil aviation emissions, which itself is responsible for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, so 0.04% of emissions globally. For green campaigners, excuses about the tiny amount of emissions private jetsetters represent are growing thin. Read more

  • 'Peregrine falcon'-style drone swarms could help defend UK against Gatwick copycat attacks - The Register 05.11.19

The British government has funded 18 anti-drone projects as part of its £2m push to stop a repeat of the Gatwick drone fiasco of 2018 - including a friendly drone swarm that will employ "peregrine falcon attack strategies" to down errant unmanned flying things. Read more 

  • UK drone pilots have 25 days to register with regulator - BBC 05.11.19

UK drone pilots have until the end of November to register their details with the Civil Aviation Authority. The mandatory requirement to register covers owners of drones or model aircraft weighing more than 250g (8.8oz). Owners of unregistered drones could then face the threat of a fine. At the same time, the CAA is starting a Drones Reunited service it hopes will reunite owners with their lost drones. Read more

  • Westminster Watch: Prepare for a radical plan - Buying Business Travel 05.11.19

It might be a long shot, but Labour could be the Government at some point and it would be coming in with a commitment to radicalism on carbon reduction that would challenge many aspects of how we organise ourselves as a society. We need to start realising how radical climate policy is shifting from the fringes to the mainstream. Read more

  • Groups write to Government asking for a moratorium on airport expansion planning applications - Airport Watch 05.11.19

Representatives of groups at some of the largest UK airports have written to both the Secretaries of State for Transport, and Housing, Communities and Local Government, to request a halt to airport expansion. The letter asks them to suspend the determination by all planning authorities of applications to increase the physical capacity of UK airports, or their approved operating caps, until there is a settled UK policy position against which such applications can be judged. Read more

  • Wizz Air cuts emissions as fleet expands - Travel Weekly 05.11.19

Wizz Air claims to have cut emissions in the past year despite expansion. The eastern and central European budget carrier revealed that its CO2 emissions in grams per passenger/km for October were 2% lower than in the same month last year at 56.8 grams. The figure compares with larger low cost rival Ryanair's latest figure of 66 grams of CO2 per passenger. Read more

  • What happens to lost property left at an airport or on a plane? - The Points Guy 05.11.19

If you've ever left a personal item on an airplane, in a lounge or even at the gate before your flight, you're not alone. Thousands of personal items are left behind every year in U.K. airports. Gatwick Airport, for example, estimates that it returns around 85% of valuable lost items to their owners each year, and 30%-40% of lower-value items like books. Read more See also the Money Supermarket lost luggage leader board article here.

  • Boeing boss gives up bonus following plane crashes - BBC 05.11.19

Boeing's boss Dennis Muilenburg will not take a bonus this year following two crashes involving the firm's 737 Max plane which killed 346 people; chairman David Calhoun said Mr Muilenburg had made the suggestion. Mr Muilenburg recently faced US lawmakers who accused the firm of building "flying coffins" and engaging in a "pattern of deliberate concealment". But Mr Calhoun said Mr Muilenburg "has done everything right". Read more

  • Should you worry about Boeing 737s? Only if you run an airline - The Conversation 05.11.19

The cracks do not threaten the lane's airworthiness. This makes it more of a threat to consumers' confidence in Boeing and the airlines that fly its planes, rather than a direct risk to passenger safety, especially after the tragedies over a poorly thought out automatic control system installed on the Boeing 737 MAX 8. More broadly, however, the pickle fork defects highlight a problem that aviation engineers have been contending with for decades: component fatigue. Read more 

  • Boeing 737 cracks: Ryanair grounds three planes due to cracking between wing and fuselage - Guardian 06.11.19

At least three Ryanair Boeing 737s have been grounded due to cracks between the wing and fuselage but this was not disclosed to the public, the Guardian can reveal. The budget Irish airline is the latest to be affected by faults in the "pickle fork" structure, which has sparked an urgent grounding of 50 planes globally since 3 October. Read more 

  • UK's tourism strategy must support net zero target, AEF recommends - AEF 06.11.19

In July this year, the Environmental Audit Committee launched an inquiry into the environmental impacts of travel and tourism, and how these can be reduced. AEF submitted written evidence to the inquiry, highlighting that a significant proportion of tourism's environmental impact is related to air travel. Given the limited in-sector opportunities to reduce aircraft emissions and noise between now and 2050, the Government should plan for a significantly lower level of aviation demand, we argue, and introduce demand management policies to ensure this objective is met. Read more See also full AEF response here.

  • Norwegian secures 2020 funding - Buying Business Travel 06.11.19

Norwegian claims it is now "fully funded through 2020 and beyond" after securing more than £213 million in capital. The low-cost carrier said the funding was secured through a "private placement and a convertible bond issue", both of which it said were oversubscribed. In addition to the new capital, Norwegian is undertaking a number of measures to remain profitable following a period of growth. It has delayed aircraft orders to cut expenditures of nearly £2 billion for 2019 and 2020, and also sold planes for £187 million. Read more

  • Wow Air to be revived as Play - Buying Business Travel 06.11.19

Collapsed Icelandic low-cost carrier Wow Air is to be resurrected as a new airline called Play, with cargo operations due to begin in December. During a press conference, Wow's former VP of operations Arnar Mar Magnusson, who has been appointed CEO of the new airline, announced a change of the company's name to Play along with a new red livery. Read more 

  • BBT Editor's Lunch: Lufthansa debates climate change and air fares - Buying Business Travel 06.11.19

An BBT readers dined at the Royal Automobile Club last month for an Editor's Lunch, sponsored by Lufthansa. On the menu: climate change, air fares and modern travel programmes. Read more [covers carbon offsetting, greener aircraft, loyalty points and wellbeing].

  • Business travellers reveal work and home worries - Buying Business Travel 08.11.19

A recent survey of business travellers has found the two biggest worries affecting road warriors are home life deterioration and putting pressure on colleagues. According to research commissioned by CWT, 22 per cent of business travellers believe their commitments to work trips impact the quality of their relationships and home life. Twenty-one per cent worry their families think they prefer travelling on business over their personal day-to-day responsibilities. Read more 


A record 1200 pupils attend Gatwick's second airport roadshow- part of a programme to encourage study of STEM subjects - 06/11/2019

  • Six local schools from East Sussex participated in an action-packed day
  • easyJet and Air Navigation Solutions among partners present along with 40 Gatwick volunteers
  • The series of roadshows will continue in Surrey from January 2020

A record 1200 pupils from six local schools visited a Gatwick Airport Roadshow at Hailsham College yesterday - in a programme designed to encourage children to pursue STEM related careers.

The pupils had an eclectic choice of activities ranging from how to marshal a jumbo jet to testing their mental arithmetic by finding products sold at the airport adding up to £100. Other activities included talking to easyJet cabin crew and pilots to understand their jobs better and looking for hidden items in the x-ray images guided by the Gatwick security officers.

The aim of the roadshows is to give students across the region a more hands-on experience of STEM-related careers to encourage them to consider working in the industry. The roadshows also aim to highlight important jobs at the airport that may not immediately be known of by school children such as airfield engineers and external security staff.

The roadshows are part of Gatwick's wider community engagement programme which is designed to have meaningful and lasting impacts in the local area. Having now been to Kent and East Sussex, the roadshows will continue in 2020 at Dorking in Surrey to ensure the whole region benefits from the scheme.

Gatwick also recently announced that it will partner with 15 primary schools and five local secondary schools near to Gatwick and - as part of their continued professional development - the teachers will be offered opportunities to learn new techniques that bring engineering-related projects to life in the classroom and in the school curriculum.

Paula Aldridge, Community Engagement Manager, Gatwick Airport said: "It was brilliant to see the students immerse themselves in all the activities. I genuinely think the pupils' perception of STEM subjects and careers at the airport changed for the better.

"All the activities were engaging and fun and I want to thank all of Gatwick's business partners for helping this event happen.

"I now look forward to replicating this success at Dorking in Surrey for the next roadshow in the programme."

Natalie Chamberlain, Vice Principal, Hailsham Community College said: "As the leading secondary school for Careers in East Sussex, we were naturally delighted to be able to host this STEM event on behalf of Gatwick Airport. Raising student aspirations is a vital part of what we do at Hailsham Community College, and this event certainly helped to ensure that young people across the county were inspired and motivated to think about future careers and ambitions in STEM."



Related news

GDBA 2024 image