As Ms Sally Pavey is aware (Letters, April 3) NATS does not set the schedule for airlines operating into or out of Gatwick Airport or decide on the number of arrivals per hour, which are a matter for the airport and the airlines.
In fact, as of the 31st March 2016 NATS no longer operates the ATC tower at Gatwick Airport, with the service having been transitioned to an alternative provider, ANS.
NATS did not set the agenda for the independent review into Gatwick westerly arrivals, however we did welcome the initiative and co-operated fully with the review’s authors.
The recommendations they have made have been with our full knowledge and agreement to help implement them, should that be the outcome of the consultation with all parties on the draft implementation plan issued by Sir Roy McNulty.
The recommendation in the report to which Ms Pavey refers is about changing the minimum joining point for final approach from 10 miles to eight miles.
That may or may not change the arrival swathe depending on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, local weather, the amount of traffic in UK airspace, Military activity and European ATC restrictions.
Over the past year NATS along with Gatwick Airport and the CAA has met with many local community groups, including Ms Pavey’s, to understand the issues they face and to try to find a balance for the impact of aircraft noise that everyone can tolerate, and which doesn’t simply shift the problem away from one community to another.
Operations Director, NATS, Parkway, Whiteley, Fareham, Hants
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