Reader demands apology from Gatwick for ‘communities contempt’ comment

MP and Council call to scrap airport plans

A Times reader is seeking an apology from Gatwick over ‘crass and insulting’ comments in last week’s paper.

Steve Haysom, a former governor of Skinners’ School who lives in Chiddingstone, wrote to his MP Tom Tugendhat asking him to request an apology from CEO Stewart Wingate for the ‘contempt’ Gatwick showed towards communities with its statement.

Gatwick made the comment after the Times asked for a response to claims an increase in noise complaints was proof the airport should not be allowed to expand.

In his letter, Mr Haysom said: “Thousands of additional complaints were not generated in the last year because of the transition from propeller-driven aircraft to ‘small jets’ nor the high dudgeon of those in Gatwick’s immigration centre; they came about because the planes were previously five miles away, fully dispersed, above shoulder height and did not blitz us day and night.

“The assurance that ‘Gatwick recognises that aircraft noise has an impact on people living near the airport and will continue to do everything possible to minimise its effect’ is an oft-trotted out, meaningless and totally insincere platitude. I didn’t used to live ‘near the airport’ but clearly I now do, as do those in Tunbridge Wells.

“I suppose it is just possible that Gatwick’s less credible version of the Chuckle Brothers may have thought this risible statement delivered a moment of levity in an otherwise grim episode.”

Should the airport win the right to expand, Mr Haysom said, the ‘ordure will strike the flabellum’ and all those responsible ‘will have blood on their hands’.

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