Gatwick seeking new Chairperson for GATCOM – the airport’s independent advisory body and critical friend

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Dr John Godfrey, Current GATCOM Chair
  • New Chair will lead 28-strong committee with a 62 year history
  • Committee pays particular regard to the impact it has on the surrounding communities and the environment
  • Current Chair, Dr John Godfrey, has led the committee through major challenges including securing enhanced rail services, which start at the airport next week

Gatwick Airport’s Consultative Committee (GATCOM) – the statutory, independent advisory body recognised as a critical friend of the airport – is looking for a new Chairperson after the incumbent – Dr John Godfrey DL – announced he was retiring at the end of the year after 11 years in post.

In its 62 year history, the 28-strong committee has maintained an independent and unbiased approach in its overarching objective, which is to ensure the future success of Gatwick Airport while paying particular regard to the impact it has on the surrounding communities and the environment.

The post is a unique opportunity for an articulate and diplomatic person who can confidently lead a forum and objectively balance a broad range of stakeholder interests. The application pack states that the candidate:

  • Is highly likely to have held a senior professional role in the past and had previous experience of chairing other committees
  • Will be able to skilfully encourage open, constructive debate
  • Will be keen to develop a knowledge of current aviation issues
  • Will be able to analyse complicated, often highly technical information

The new Chairperson will be appointed for a minimum period of four years.

An airport the size of Gatwick brings huge benefits both nationally and locally – but like all airports – it causes a number of concerns to local communities, particularly on issues such as aircraft noise, emissions, development demands, traffic and parking.

Gatwick is committed to consulting widely with its neighbours, business partners and local authorities on its current and future plans and GATCOM’s key purpose is to advise Gatwick’s management about issues of concern and to stimulate interest both within the airport community and among local people.

GATCOM includes representatives from a wide range of interests including local authorities, civil aviation, passenger, business and environmental and amenity groups.  Also present at the main meetings are Gatwick Airport’s CEO, Stewart Wingate, members of his senior management team, and representatives from the Government, NATS, the airport’s air traffic control and the GATCOM Secretariat.

Over the last eleven years as the current Chair, Dr John Godfrey, has led the committee through many major and challenging issues in the development of Gatwick.  These include the sale of the airport by BAA to Global Infrastructure Partners in 2009, consultation on a second runway and the airport master plan, the use of and changes to flight paths, the establishment of the Gatwick Noise Management Board and support to secure enhanced rail services to the airport.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said:  “For more than 60 years, GATCOM has played an essential role as a critical friend to the airport. In that time it has become a well-respected independent committee and one that I personally value in my role as CEO of London Gatwick.

“The Chairperson is fundamental to the strength of GATCOM and plays a leading part in maintaining and considering a balance of opinions and views across many interested parties, all of which the airport is fully committed to consulting with.

“This truly is a unique opportunity to play a highly valued role which will help shape the direction of the airport now and in the future.”

The full application pack, including more information on the role of GATCOM, can be found here.

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