Gatwick Airport has extended its flight path consultation until midnight on Saturday August 16, after a technical fault made its website temporarily unavailable.
The process was originally set to end at midnight tonight (Thursday August 14), but a minor problem with Gatwick’s Airspace Consultation website meant it was inaccessible during the early hours of this morning.
After readers expressed confusion about whether the new deadline referred to the start or end of Saturday the airport clarified it closes at the end of Friday.
Consultation has been running for twelve weeks, aimed at gathering feedback from local residents and organisations.
Participants are asked for their opinions on three possible departure routes, as well as night time respite options.
A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said: “Gatwick’s Airspace Consultation website was unavailable in the early hours of this morning due to a technical issue.
“Therefore Gatwick will be extending the consultation period until midnight (00.00) on the 16th August to ensure anyone still wanting to feedback is able to.”
A new route, known as ADNID, was trialled on westerly departures from Gatwick, as part of wider work to assess the best use of UK airspace.
Gatwick claims that all airports will be required to carry out this research by the year 2020.
However the trial flight path which started in February, has seen residents of Warnham, Rusper and the surrounding areas protest at the constant stream of planes over their homes.
Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) was formed in response and has been holding information drop-in sessions to explain the consultation documents to residents in the last few months.
Last weekend residents celebrated as the flight paths reverted back to their original routes, as the trial ended on Friday (August 8).
Writing in today’s County Times Francis Maude, MP for Horsham and minister for the cabinet office, said: ”Gatwick Airport has a great deal of trust to rebuild. This has to start with an acceptance that the current airspace consultation is too long and complicated and technical for people to be able to register their views effectively.
“I found it really hard to navigate and I’ve lived and breathed these issues for 17 years.”
Following the end of the consultation period, Gatwick states that all data and feedback will be ‘carefully reviewed’.
To visit Gatwick’s consultation homepage click here.