LGW REVIEW OF 2011 GENERALMany of the plans announced by GIP to improve the lot of passengers travelling through the airport came to fruition during 2011. These included the new self-swipe gates for boarding cards, the addition of 19 extra security lanes & the extension to the North Terminal & are just some of the improvements planned as part of an ongoing programme. The airport published its "Draft Master Plan" in October, covering proposed developments between now & 2020. This contains various suggestions as to how the airport might increase its passenger throughput from 32 million to 40 million in the next 8 years while still operating with only the one runway. Nothing earth shattering in the document, but ideas include expansion of the terminals, streamlining of ATC procedures & the use of larger aircraft including non-remote A380-capable stands. The company's marketing team has also been busy & was particularly successful in attracting airlines from the Far East, with AirAsia X & Vietnam A/L already starting services to Gatwick & Air China, Hong Kong A/L & Korean Air set to join them in 2012. Other airlines commencing services to Gatwick during the last year included Air Berlin, Lufthansa, Rossiya & THY. It is interesting to note that some of these are, in fact, returning to Gatwick having operated from here in the past.Shortly before the first anniversary of it being impounded, we heard that Italia A/L MD82 I-DAVA (present since 21/10/10) was to be broken up. In the event, it seems that it will just have its engines & other useful/valuable parts removed before being presented to the fire service for non-destructive training. Unlike late 2010, we saw no significant snow falls, though the next couple of months may tell us how well Gatwick is now prepared to deal with such inclement weather. A major purchase of equipment was made at the beginning of the year, involving an expenditure of £8 million, & doubling the airport's fleet of snow clearing vehicles from 47 to 95.Viewing at Gatwick, already almost impossible, has been made even more difficult with the imposition of parking restrictions on the road leading to the crash gate at Lowfield Heath. It is, however, usually possible to park in nearby roads & walk to the gate. My New Year's wish is that GIP wakes up to the fact that good viewing facilities can be a great money-spinner & provides us with some world-class facilities, making Gatwick the best, rather than the worst, airport in Europe for viewing, but I am not holding my breath! Looking forward to 2012, we must hope that the Olympic Games & the Jubilee celebrations bring us some visitors of note. AIRLINESAs with recent years, low cost carriers continue to dominate. EasyJet is still our biggest airline by far & figures from earlier in the year suggest that it accounts for about 36% of our movements, though faces stiff competition to some countries from the likes of Flybe (11%), Norwegian (3%) & Ryanair (7%). The next biggest airline after easyJet in terms of movements is British A/W (19%). I had expected that newcomer Air Berlin would also provide more competition than it has done. It started Gatwick services from Hanover & Nuremberg in February, though the former route was dropped after only 5 months & now we just have the one service. I suspect that the airline's recent financial woes & its ongoing cost-cutting exercise will prevent much, if any, further expansion in the near future. Sad news was the loss of Astraeus in November. Our only remaining true Gatwick-based airline, it went into administration & its aircraft were quickly repossessed & moved to storage at various locations. Those flights that it used to operate on behalf of Iceland Express have been taken over by Holidays Czech A/L operating a pair of A320s. On a more positive note, Virgin Atlantic finally put two A333s into service, having leased out the first two to China A/L. A fifth was delivered all white to Gatwick from storage at Lourdes in early November, but in less than 3 weeks had departed to the USA on lease to Ryan International. Five more are due to be delivered in 2012 & it will be interesting to see whether these are also leased out. Flybe took delivery of its first four E175s out of a total order for 35, with 9 more due for delivery in 2012. A surprise was the sudden appearance of a regular weekday freight flight by Star Air, all 11 of whose B762Fs appeared during the year. The introduction of Rossiya A148s on the St Petersburg run was also unexpected & so far we have seen 5 of the 6 currently operated by the carrier & we also had occasional visits from Estonian Air CRJ9s. Visiting on a regular basis now are HiFly's two A343s, often on runs to/from the Falklands. Without doubt, Air Berlin made the biggest contribution to our first visits with no less than 83 aircraft making their debuts (11xA319, 25xA320, 2xA321, 18xB737, 18xB738, 9xDH8D). Not surprisingly, we had first appearances from a further 32 Ryanair B738s, 28 easyJet A319/320s (including 3 reregistered Swiss examples) & another 15 Norwegian Air Shuttle B738s. The easyJet A319s were the last batch to be delivered to the carrier, with all future deliveries scheduled to be A320s (a further 36 currently on order). Newcomers THY & Vietnam A/L have already provided 12 & 7 first visits respectively, despite having only started Gatwick services in December. Other carriers supplying significant numbers of newcomers included Aerosvit (15 including 4 Donbassaero & 2 Wind Rose machines), BA Cityflyer (7), Emirates (11), Flybe (7), Pegasus (10), Rossiya (7) & Thomson A/W (8). One-offs & less common visitors among the airline newcomers included, by manufacturer:Airbus - a ULS A/L Cargo A310F, single A320s from Air Sweden, Avion Express, Jordan Aviation & VIA, plus 5 from Eurofly/Meridiana, a Kingfisher A330 & an Orbest example, plus two Virgin A346s. Boeing - B737 classics included an Air Bucharest B733, two Air Mediterranee B735s (one SX registered), an Alnaser A/L B734, Corendon Air B734, Czech Connect A/L B734, GainJet B733, Georgian A/W B735, Jet Time B733, Mistral Air B733, Small Planet B733, Small Planet Estonia B733 & the Solitaire B734. B737NGs included an AMC B738, Corendon Dutch A/L B738, Jet Time B737, Luxair B737, Neos B738, three Sun Country B738s, & one B738 each from Transavia Denmark, Travel Service, Travel Service Hungary & TUIfly. B744s comprised one MAS example & 7 Air France machines for attention with Virgin Atlantic. The only B757 to mention here was the latest Air Finland example, while B767 newcomers included a Neos aircraft & two from Ryan International.BAe - more one-off 146s than I would have expected, in the shape of one from Astra A/L, 4 Atlantic A/W, one Bulgaria Air, 2 CityJet & one from WDL.Bombardier - odds & ends were an Air Nostrum CRJ9, 2 Croatia A/L DH8Ds, a Luxair DH8D, an Eastern A/W E135 & E145, Cirrus A/L E170, Lufthansa Regional E190 & Augsburg E195.Douglas/McDD - a USN C-9B, RAF C-17, 3 Bulgarian Air Charter MD80s & one each from Swiftair & Ten A/W.Fokker - one Denim Air F50 & one from VLM/CityJet.SAAB - a Skytaxi SF340 & another from the Swedish A/F.Six former BA B752s & one Thomson example had US registrations applied at Gatwick for FedEx (though one has still to depart) & some early BA A320s were cycled through Gatwick prior to moving on for storage at Lourdes & Chateauroux.AIRLINE CHANGES Among the losses & gains below I have omitted seasonal operations such as those by the likes of Onur Air, Pegasus, RAM, Sun Country, Sunwing & Tunisair as they may well be back next summer. As always, rumours of new airlines starting services to Gatwick were rife & those that failed to materialise included Air Nigeria, Comair & Luxair, while the Hellenic Imperial service from Athens did commence very briefly at the beginning of July, though with an Aurela B733 rather than their own A343s (which were returned to Gulf Air without entering service). Airline losses in 2011 (excluding seasonal carriers)Adria, Afriqiyah? Air Seychelles, Air Southwest, Alnaser A/L, Astraeus, Olympic A/W, Qatar A/W, SAS, United A/W, Viking Hellas, WindJet Of the above, Afriqiyah may restart when conditions in Libya are betterAirline gains in 2011 (excluding seasonal carriers)Aerosvit, AirAsia X, Air Berlin, Alnaser A/L, Holidays Czech A/L, Lufthansa, Rossiya, Star Air, THY, Vietnam A/L Due to start in 2012 - Air China, Air One, Hong Kong A/L, JAT, Korean Air AIRLINES AT GATWICK AT YEAR ENDScheduled/regular carriers as at 31/12/11 were:Aer Lingus, Aerosvit, Air Baltic, Air Berlin, Air Europa, Air Malta, Air Moldova, Air Transat, Air Zimbabwe, Aurigny, Belavia, British A/W, Cimber Sterling, Croatia A/L, Cubana, Delta, easyJet, easyJet Switzerland, Emirates, Estonian Air, Flybe, Holidays Czech A/L, Lufthansa, Malev, Meridiana Fly, Monarch, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Rossiya, Star Air, TAP, Thomas Cook, Thomson A/W, THY, Ukraine International, US A/W, Vietnam A/L, Virgin AtlanticSome others, such as Montenegro A/L, suspended their services for the winter.Other carriers seen at Gatwick this year included:Adria, Afriqiyah, Air Bucharest, Air Canada, Air Caraibes, Air Explore, Air Finland, Air France, Air India, Air Italy, Air Mediterranee, Air Nostrum, Air Seychelles, Air Southwest, Air Sweden, Air Transat, Air Zimbabwe, Alnaser A/L, AMC, American A/L, Astra A/L, Astraeus, Atlantic A/W, Augsburg A/W, Aurela, Aurigny, Avion Express Italia BA Cityflyer, Balkan Holidays, Belavia, Blue Panorama, BMI, BMI Regional, Bulgaria Air, Bulgarian Air Charter Calima Aviacion, Cirrus A/L, CityJet, Czech Connect A/L, Corendon Air, Corendon Dutch A/L Denim Air, Donbassaero, Dubrovnik A/L Eastern A/W, Emirates, Ethiopian Cargo, Euro Atlantic, Eurofly, Europe Airpost Fly Hellas GainJet, Georgian A/W Hapag-Lloyd, Hellenic Imperial, Hemus Air, HiFly Iberia, Iceland Express Jetairfly, Jet Time, Jet2, Jordan Aviation Kingfisher Lufthansa Regional, Luxair MAS, Medallion Air, Mistral Air, Montenegro A/L Neos, Nouvelair Olympic A/W, Omni Air, Onur Air, Open Skies, Orbest Palmair, Pegasus, Portugalia, Privilege, Pullmantur Air Qatar A/W RAM, Ryan International SAS, SATA, Scot A/W, Skytaxi, Sky Wings, Small Planet A/L, Small Planet A/L Estonia, Small Planet A/L Polska, Solitaire Air, Spanair, Strategic A/L Luxembourg, Sun Adria, Sun Country, Sunwing A/L, Swiftair Ten A/W, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, THY Cargo, Titan A/W, TonleSap A/L, Tor Air, Trade Air, Transavia, Transavia Denmark, Travel Service, Travel Service Hungary, TrawelFly, TUIfly, TUIfly Netherlands, Tunis Air ULS A/L Cargo, United A/W VIA, Viking Hellas, VLM WDL, Wind Jet, Wind Rose, World A/WOmitted are ItAli A/L MD80 I-DAVA which has been impounded here & FedEx, whose former BA/Thomson B752s were delivered from here. A large percentage of the visitors above were due either to diversions or were subbing for other carriers. GENERAL AVIATIONNew types that we welcomed this year were the Eclipse & Citation 525C, with a single example of each appearing. A further 5 Phenoms visited, though I was surprised that we only saw one new Astra, Ce500, Ce750, DA50, Galaxy, G150 & Premier & not a single new HA4000 Horizon. The large Gulfstreams were significantly up from 17 last year to 29 this year, though we saw a big drop in new biz props/twins from 28 last year to 12 this year.From a purely personal point of view, I would rate the 5 most interesting GA newcomers of the year as B-8091 Gulf 4, EZ-B023 CL605, PR-MLJ BD700, T7-FRA Ce525 & UR-DWH Ce525B (even though I had already seen 3 of them elsewhere). The countries providing the most new GA visitors in 2011 were the USA (38), UK (28), Austria (19), Germany (17) & the Isle of Man (14). FIRST VISITS The year saw a gratifying increase from last year's total of 555 first visits to a much healthier 612, which also just beat the 2009 total by 6, though was still 18 below the 2008 figure. New types making their debuts in 2011 were the A148, C-17, Ce525C, Eclipse & E175. The A148s are now quite a common sight on the Rossiya service from St Petersburg, while the E175s have recently become frequent visitors on Flybe services from Aberdeen & Inverness. By classification (with comparisons to 2010) 427 airliners (+77)169 biz jets (-3)12 biz props/twins (-16)4 helicopters (-1)The airliner total includes 4 military transports & 12 privately owned executive airlinersAirliners140 B73782 A32028 A319 (including one A319CJ)20 B77718 A32117 A330, B76715 DHC-814 B7579 BAe 146, E170/1758 B747, E135 (including 7 E135BJ), E190/1957 A340, DC-9/MD805 A1483 CRJ92 CRJ2, E145, F50, SF3401 A310, C-17, Defender, MD-11New examples of the following types appeared in 2010, but failed to do so in 2011 - A380, An26, C160, CRJ8, DC10, DHC6, D328JET, F70, F100, Il76, S2000, SD360The top three places were held by the same types in 2008, 2009 & 2010.Biz Jets25 Ce52517 BD70015 Gulf 412 Gulf 5, Lear11 HS1259 Ce5608 Ce510, CL6007 BD100, Ce680, DA900, DA20005 Ce550, Phenom2 Be400, DA7X, Gulf 31 Astra, Ce500, Ce750, DA50, Eclipse, Galaxy, G150, PremierThe Ce525 was the top type in 2008, 2009 & 2010. The Learjet, which had held second place for the last two years, dropped to fourth place. Biz props/twins 7 King Air2 Avanti, TBM7001 PC-12The King Air retained top spot for the third year in a row. Helicopters (overflights NOT recorded by me)3 AS3551 R-44By country prefix (including military) 111 D104 G57 N38 EI28 TC22 OY19 OE18 LN, UR17 EC15 F14 M13 A610 I8 C7 HB, LX, LZ, RA, VN6 OK5 SX, YR4 CS, OO, S5, 9A3 ES, JY, PH, VP-B/VQ-B, VP-C, 9M2 EW, HZ, LY, OH, PR, SE, SP, VT1 A7, A9C, B, CN, EZ, HA, OM, P4, SU, TS, T7, UP, YI, 4L55 countries, compared to 53 last year, 62 in 2009 & 57 in 2008The same countries appear in the top 5 this year as last, though in a significantly different order By manufacturer:199 Boeing153 Airbus64 Bombardier56 Cessna32 Embraer30 Gulfstream21 Hawker/Beechcraft17 DassaultPlus 40 from assorted other makersTotal first visits by month Jan 21 (11 liners, 8 biz, 2 others) Feb 63 (49 liners, 12 biz, 2 others)Mar 70 (46 liners, 23 biz, 1 others)Apr 55 (40 liners, 15 biz, 0 others)May 63 (43 liners, 18 biz, 2 others)Jun 54 (40 liners, 11 biz, 3 others)Jly 62 (44 liners, 18 biz, 0 others)Aug 35 (27 liners, 7 biz, 1 others)Sep 37 (28 liners, 9 biz, 0 others)Oct 44 (26 liners, 16 biz, 2 others)Nov 50 (35 liners, 13 biz, 2 others)Dec 58 (38 liners, 19 biz, 1 others)Military & government newcomers (managed to creep up slightly from 8 in 2010 to 10 in 2011)104 TBM700 French A/F117 TBM700 French A/F100008 SF340B Swedish A/F161530 C-9B USNA6-DLM A320 Abu Dhabi Amiri FlightA7-AAH A343 Qatar Amiri FlightEZ-B023 CL605 Government of TurkmenistanUP-A3001 A332 Government of KazakhstanZH005 Defender AL2 AACZZ171 C-17 RAF
Thanks for your daily update on Gatwick- I read it every evening- although I live in Mid Wales !!
Can you just confirm what the parking restrictions are now ? I used to park in the layby on Charlwood Road and walk back to the crash gate in Lowfield Heath Road, can I still do that ?
Hi, Dave. Believe that you can still park there OK. The only restricitons are on the road leading immediately up to the crash gate
Thanks John - keep up the great daily updates. Dave