Former Horsham Council CEO appointed as Chair for GATCOM – the airport’s independent advisory body

24 September 2018

Tom Crowley – the former Chief Executive of Horsham District Council – has been appointed as the new Chair of Gatwick Airport’s Consultative Committee (GATCOM) - the statutory, independent advisory body and ‘critical friend’ of the airport, it was announced today.

Tom will take up his new role in January 2019 - for a minimum of period of four years - and brings with him substantial experience chairing committees and similar bodies locally and across the South East region.  He is also currently Chair of Empty Homes – a national research and campaigning charity – and aGovernor of the Chichester College Group.

Before his appointment as Horsham's Chief Executive in 2005, Tom held senior management roles at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Arun District Council. 

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 outgoing Chair - Dr John Godfrey – will leave his role in December 2018 after announcing his retirement after eleven years in post.  His achievements during this period have been described by Stewart Wingate – Gatwick’s CEO - as ‘considerable’ and include leading the committee through the sale of the airport by BAA to Global Infrastructure Partners in 2009.

John also steered GATCOM through major challenges such as the public consultations on a second runway and the airport’s master plan, through the use of and changes to flight paths, the establishment of the Gatwick Noise Management Board and helped to generate support to secure enhanced rail services to the airport.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said: 

“I congratulate and look forward to working closely with Tom in his new role as Chair.  This post is fundamental to the strength of GATCOM and the committee plays a key role advising me and my senior team about issues of concern to our local communities or that impact the local environment.

“I would also like to express my personal gratitude to Dr John Godfrey for dedicating over a decade to the role.  I very much value his contribution to GATCOM and his achievements during his tenure have been considerable and have helped shape the direction the airport.”

Dr John Godfrey, outgoing GATCOM Chair, said:

“I join Stewart in congratulating Tom on his appointment and wish him well in his new role. GATCOM acts as a bridge between the airport management and all the various agencies and interests which make up the wider community which the airport serves. Tom’s background and experience equip him to make a major contribution to the important work of the UK’s leading airport consultative committee.”

Tom Crowley, incoming GATCOM Chair, said:

“I am delighted to have been selected for this important position. Having lived and worked locally for almost forty years I am acutely aware of the economic benefits that Gatwick brings but I also appreciate that the airport's development and operation generates significant environmental impacts.

“GATCOM plays a vital role in representing the interests of those who benefit from and are affected by the airport and it provides an effective forum to promote constructive dialogue with Gatwick's senior managers.” 

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