Gatwick has removed information about its foreign owners on its website, a move carried out last week. What they would rather you didn’t know just before the latest consultation ends is that they are mainly owned by an American hedge fund.
Its time, says Steve Haysom from Chiddingstone in Kent, to bring our public servants to book on this issue. He writes:
‘Airport expansion is for the few at the expense of the many and there is a great deal of frustration and anger that has been created by the contemptuous way in which the British Public are being treated.
In West Kent and East Sussex we are lucky enough to inhabit amenity space that is just thirty miles from what will, by 2030, be a megalopolis ‘boasting’ 10,000,000 inhabitants – with respect to this fact it stands to reason that places where people seek tranquility and home grown businesses reliant upon tourism would of course flourish. Not everyone wants to fly on a plane to get away every weekend.
It is not anti-Capitalist to feel at some point that the requirement to preserve the environment should outweigh commercial considerations – for instance, it is not possible to put a price on a picnic with your family next to the lake at Hever Castle. However, it will not be possible to have a picnic by the lake at Hever Castle if Gatwick bulldozes through its plans and, to dispel any lingering doubts, our public servants appear to sit around on their elbows contributing nothing.
Here is the question that politicians will not ask those that will be blighted – ‘are you happy that by my inactivity I will be implicitly supporting a proposition that will reduce the quality of your life to the benefit of foreign investors’?
I can’t imagine that being met with universal approbation.
With the benefit of hindsight this mess was inevitable from the moment the forced sale of Gatwick went through. Is an American hedge fund likely to shed a tear that the price to be paid for its predicted 20% return on investment was the destruction of the High Weald and misery for thousands of people? Er, no.
So – who actually owns Gatwick Airport and thereby stands to profit from the potential destruction of your health, wealth and happiness?
Gatwick is wholly-owned by Ivy Bidco Limited (Ivy), a company formed to undertake the acquisition of Gatwick. Ivy is ultimately controlled by funds managed by Global Infrastructure Management, LLC, part of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) – a $15 billion dollar infrastructure fund out of New York.
Following an equity syndication process, GIP retains a 42% controlling stake in Gatwick. The other shareholders are the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), National Pension Service of Korea (NPS), California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the Future Fund of Australia.
GIP is headed by Adebayo Ogunlesi who has not the slightest interest in you or your well being. GIP exists only to line its pockets and reward its shareholders, which include public pension funds from Maine, Oregon and Washington.
Up until a week ago this information was displayed on the Gatwick website; this is no longer the case.
Gatwick has thrown a few pathetic crumbs around to support infrastructure and create apprenticeships, but it appears nervous that it should be found out for destroying our bucolic idyll for the sole benefit of a bunch of foreign investors.
Once its voracious thirst for growth is slaked it will sell the airport to the massive benefit of its investors and you will be left cursing in the smoking embers of what is left of the life you once enjoyed.
GIP? Don’t worry about them – one of their core business interests is energy infrastructure so now that fracking has been tipped the wink, it could soon be slapping a pipeline across another tract of land that you used to enjoy.
Mr Carter, Leader of the KCC – you have been approached enough times now – if you are not able to articulate KCCs policy regarding Gatwick expansion I’m not sure what you’re for! What I do see is the potential for an immediate £200k saving on transport costs alone from not having an airport and that would look pretty handsome in our campaign kitty.
Eight days and counting until the end of the airspace route consultation. I for one will do whatsoever I can to assist in stopping this absolute outrage of aviation expansion.’
Concerned about Gatwick’s plans? See CAGNE East website for updates on developments: cagne-east.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org