Crawley News – EasyJet Support Heathrow

EasyJet Support Heathrow
EasyJet moves to support Heathrow Expansion bid
4th February 2015 – Crawley News


EasyJet Gatwick

Gatwick Airport’s biggest airline, easyJet, has potentially dealt a blow to its chances of getting a second runway after announcing it is supporting expansion at Heathrow instead, The budget airline’s chief executive has written to the Airports Commission as part of the public consultation into whether expansion should take place at Gatwick or at Heathrow.

The airline has four bases in the UK. with its biggest being at Gatwick Airport.

In the submission Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s chief executive officer, said: “Heathrow is in the best interests of passengers as it has the greatest demand.

“It is clear that long haul airlines want to expand at Heathrow and, if they can’t, they will do so not at Gatwick but at other airports such as Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

“Heathrow does not currently have low cost, short-haul airlines but an expanded Heathrow would allow airlines like easyJet to operate there – providing more competition, which will mean new routes, more services and lower fares.”

Ms McCall added that Gatwick’s proposal requires a “significant increase in airport charges”.

She added: “This would inevitably lead to higher fares for Gatwick’s passengers, the vast majority of whom are flying for leisure.

“Gatwick is a much-improved airport under its new owners and management team and easyJet is committed to continuing to grow our operations there.

“However, there is no evidence that passenger demand at Gatwick. and therefore its range of airlines and their networks, will be significantly expanded with an additional runway.

“Gatwick slots have been and are still readily available now which would allow long haul airlines to move to or expand at Gatwick.

“History shows that there is little appetite to do so and in fact many have left the airport”

The airline started flying from Gatwick in 1999 and now has 57 aircraft operating on more than 105 routes.

In response a spokesman for Gatwick Airport claimed easyJet’s decision was based on its own interests rather than what is best for the country.

He said: “We understand that easyJet might take this position in it’s best commercial interests.

“The fact remains, however, that Gatwick offers the most efficient and lowest cost answer to the question of runway capacity in the South East.

“Heathrow is already the most expensive airport in Europe and expansion there can only drive up costs for airlines and passengers even further.

“This will deter low cost carriers from operating at Heathrow in the future, just as it has for the past 25 years since the low-cost revolution got under way.”

Crawley-based business leader Jeremy Taylor cannot see the logic in easyJet’s argument.

He said; “So easyJet think that Heathrow is a better option for them, even though landing fees are currently £22 per passenger as oppose€d to £9 at Gatwick’

“If Heathrow gets its runway, then landing fees will be at least £38 (possibly £35 to £40) which is far in excess of what easyJet are prepared to pay in their business model.

“This response is more about saying that easyJet don’t want to see more competition at Gatwick.”

Crawley News – Gatwick Airport Opposition

Gatwick Airport Second Runway
Councillors go head to head on airport’s future
4th February 2015 – Crawley News


At a Crawley Borough Council meeting last week, councillors voted to oppose a second runway being built at Gatwick Airport.
Following the vote, which saw 25 councillors object to expansion and 11 vote in support of it, we asked two of them to explain the reasons behind their decisions.


Good or Bad? Debate rages over whether the gains of Gatwick Airport expanding outweigh the pain

For a Second Runway: Peter Lamb – Labour

THERE’S a reason Gatwick arouses strong feelings.
A new runway would affect every aspect of life in Crawley and I’ve no doubt those who voted against it honestly believed it was in their residents’ best interests.

Ultimately, it is for the government to take the decision and they will do so on the basis of a report from the Airports Commission.

The commission has already decided a new runway will be going to either Heathrow or Gatwick. Gatwick still has space to grow – although with one runway that means more night flights and stacking – but Heathrow is now full and they’re forcing everyone’s hand.

The problem for us is that airlines want to fly from Heathrow. How often have we seen airlines switch to Heathrow when slots have opened up? This month Gatwick lost Vietnam Airlines and others have indicated they’d move given the opportunity.

It’s not hard to see what will happen if Heathrow’s capacity suddenly increased by 50 per cent. When the council commissioned a study into the implications of airport expansion, the report estimated that 6,000 current airport-related jobs would be lost if Heathrow got the runway, a point supported by recent research from a major credit rating agency. That’s before we consider the impact upon non-airport-related industries who’ve located here to gain access to a global customer base, including many of Crawley’s biggest employers.

Some claim that talking about job losses amounts to “bullying”, but over 20 per cent of Crawley’s working residents work at Gatwick. The risk to people’s jobs cannot be ignored. Long-term unemployment devastates the lives of families and the life chances of their children; I will not take it lightly.

The idea that Gatwick, and Crawley’s economy, will survive by focusing entirely on one low-cost airline is akin to building houses on sand. Crawley has traditionally benefited from low unemployment, the New Town built industry alongside houses and as those companies declined the airport took up the slack.

Too many people think that means Crawley is in some way immune to unemployment; 20 years from now a very different future looks possible. Retail is the single biggest employment sector in Crawley, but the internet means that the need for manpower is declining rapidly.

Meanwhile, Gatwick and associated industries are automating. Currently, Gatwick could reach peak capacity on the one runway without needing to employ a single additional worker. All the while, part-time work is being forced upon people in need of real jobs, disguising the true degree of unemployment in the town.

Gatwick are prohibited from building a new runway until 2019 at the earliest and that runway wouldn’t reach peak capacity until 2050. The runway debate isn’t just about the needs of today, it’s about preparing Crawley for the next 35-years.

Gatwick brings work and, while the most basic jobs are increasingly becoming automated, by improving Crawley’s attractiveness to non-airport-related industries we’ve the opportunity to not only improve job quality over time but build resilience to any sudden decline in air travel.

I’m very aware of what a runway would mean for housing, infrastructure and the environment but our housing problems have always been more about politics than geography and with sufficient investment the infrastructure issues can be addressed.

Sadly, the environmental impact cannot easily be resolved but planes have become quieter and cleaner and we’ve no reason to believe this won’t continue.

Unemployment, however, is heading in the wrong direction. It’s an area where government intervention has a poor track-record and where we don’t yet have a back-up plan. And that’s why, when all the issues are tallied, I could not in good conscience have opposed the runway.


Pain or Gain? The Airport expansion debate rages on

Against a Second Runway: Bob Lanzer – Conservative

AS the local planning authority for Gatwick Airport, Crawley Borough Council will not take the decision on airport expansion but will be responsible for determining future detailed planning applications.

At its recent Gatwick debate, Crawley Borough Council decided to object to a second runway. Sitting on the fence with the amount of evidence now available would not have been credible and it was right to take this view. The council retains its voice.

To believe otherwise you would have to also believe that the council was incapable of influencing and working with people with whom it disagreed, and this is not the case. The council has also committed to continue to work with all stakeholders for the benefit of the town.

The Airports Commission has described five aviation market scenarios but it is unclear which is most likely. This means wide-ranging estimates of the impacts from a second runway. Figures for housing and jobs show that nobody can know the exact effect of such a major decision.

Estimates for growth in job numbers range from 500 to 23,700 by 2030 in the local area and wider region, in addition to 11,500 to 21,500 construction jobs in place from 2024 to 2039.

More work is needed by the Airports Commission on the impact of additional runway capacity being built at Heathrow but not Gatwick. We should, though, derive some confidence from the effective and intelligent investment made by Gatwick’s current owners, positioning it well to compete with Heathrow whatever decision is made. Crawley has historically had low levels of unemployment. While all jobs are important and worthwhile, we have a relatively low-wage economy and the council, as a Living Wage employer, should not wish to support this situation becoming more acute.

The point links with the housing market. In 2014 the ratio of lower quartile house prices to lower quartile earnings was more than seven to one. This affordability issue affects rent levels and the length of the council’s housing waiting list. Low unemployment means that many new jobs would go to people from outside of Crawley, increasing housing demand.

Major world events, such as Middle East wars, have been harmful to our local economy, highlighting our existing dependency on the aviation industry. We need greater economic diversity rather than growth fuelled by the greatest imaginable increase in our environmental footprint.

Estimates for additional households resulting from a second runway range from an implausible zero up to 18,400 by 2030. This growth might be spread across 14 council areas but much would be within Crawley or nearby.

Most councils within the Gatwick assessment area cannot meet their existing housing needs. Crawley can only meet 60 per cent of its current housing and employment needs up to 2030. Major new housing developments would appear beyond those already being built and those present in Crawley’s Local Plan.

Local newspapers often carry articles with quite bitter community objections to new housing. These are real impacts for real people which would become much more frequent with a second runway.

There are other environmental and infrastructure impacts which cannot be fully mitigated. The 57dB noise contour line, which represents the onset of serious community annoyance, would move south affecting northern parts of Ifield, Langley Green and the new Forge Wood neighbourhood. We would lose 165 acres of employment land, 186 acres of woodland and see a reduction in air quality in some locations.

A second runway brings jobs that reduce economic diversity and worsens a more pressing housing issue that is already far from being solved. For Crawley, the pain outweighs the gain.

GAL – Response to the Airport Commission

Response to Airports Commission
4th February 2015

Good afternoon,

As Sir Howard Davies’ public consultation on runway capacity has now closed, I thought you might be interested to read the details of Gatwick’s submission to the Airports Commission. Please see below the link to the Executive Summary of Gatwick’s submission.

GAL Consultation Executive Summary Final

Over the past 30 years, successive Governments have commissioned independent experts to look at Heathrow’s expansion and every time they have rejected it. Why? Because the only option being discussed was Heathrow and the environmental and human cost of expanding Heathrow is too great.

What has changed this time? In separate ownership and free to compete, Gatwick has provided an alternative solution that delivers all the economic benefits of airport expansion at a fraction of the environmental cost.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said:

“At this critical juncture, the Airports Commission’s decision should reflect the sort of country we want Britain to be in the 21st Century. We all want the UK to prosper, but we should not pursue economic benefits at any cost to the environment – public consultation has clearly highlighted what difficult but pivotal issues noise and the environment will be in this debate.

“Only expansion at Gatwick puts the environment front and centre of the debate, delivering the new capacity and economic benefits the UK needs at a fraction of the environmental cost of Heathrow. Expanding Heathrow means 130,000 more planes over London every year, continued breaches of legal limits on air quality, and 320,000 people – a population the size of Coventry – newly affected by noise. In the 21st Century, Heathrow is simply not a credible option and ignores the key issues the public continue to raise.”

I also thought you might like to see this short snapshot (below) of some of the support Gatwick has received in the short time we have been campaigning on this issue:

GAL Support Document

These supporters realise the importance of finally expanding our airport capacity and that Gatwick is the only deliverable solution – we hope you agree.

Should you require any additional information, or would like to meet to discuss our submission in greater detail, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards

Melanie Wrightson
Community Engagement Manager

GACC – Response to Airports Commission

Response to Airports Commission
2nd February 2015

Dear Sir/Madam

You may be interested to see our response to the runway consultation which we have submitted today (Monday 2nd February).

Doug Cox
Membership Secretary
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign

GACC Airport Response

For more information about Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
phone 01293 863369

Alternatively contact directly
phone John Byng 01293 537234
phone Peter Barclay 01293 862821

Crawley Observer – Council opposes Second Runway

Council opposes Second Runway

  • Concerns Raised about impact of expansion on town including noise, traffic and housing
  • Council leadership warn of loss of jobs and economic benefits if bid fails
  • 25 votes to 11 against building of a second runway

28th January 2015 – Crawley Observer

By Karen Dunn
phone 01293 845058

Crawley Borough Council has voted to oppose expansion at Gatwick Airport.

Councillors aired their views and took part in a free vote at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Full Council on Monday(January 26).

The result – 25 votes to 11 against the building of a second runway will be included in a detailed response submitted by the council to the Airports Commission.

Only Cllr Liam Marshall-Ascough (Con, Southgate) failed to attend the meeting. Noise, traffic and housing needs were among concerns raised as was the physical impact a second runway would have on the town.

Cllr Keith Blake (Con, Gossops Green) was one f several councillors who felt residents did not fully appreciate how large the expanded airport would be.
At 10,000ft in length by 500ft wide, he said it would be like having Dartford’s Queen Elizabeth Bridge sitting at the top of Manor Royal.

But council leader Cllr Peter Lamb (Lab, Northgate) warned there would be economic consequences if a runway was not built. East Sussex County Council has voted to support expansion’

Farrell's London - image of a two-runway Gatwick

An image of how Gatwick would look with the proposed second runway

Crawley Observer – Residents told to ‘wake up’ over airport expansion

Residents told to ‘wake up’ over airport expansion
Campaigners think people are unaware of how much space airport expansion would take
28th January 2015 – Crawley Observer

By Karen Dunn
phone 01293 845058

Anti-expansion campaigners said they were concerned Crawley residents did not understand how far into town the airport would encroach if a second runway was built.

While celebrating Crawley Borough Council’s decision to vote against expansion, members of GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign), One’s Enough and CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions) called on people to “wake up” and realise what expansion would mean for the town.

In a joint statement, the groups urged residents to ask questions about the expansion and take part in the Airports Commission’s public consultation, which ends on Tuesday (February 3).

The statement said: “The new runway boundaries will have devastating affects on the north of Crawley, demolishing over 250 business premises at Lowfield Heath, City Place, the Beehive and on the northern edge of Manor Royal.

“To the east the airport would extend to the edge of the M23, South of Junction 9. And to the west it would extend into Horsham District incorporating an area of countryside and properties in Bonnetts Lane and Ifield Road.

“It is about the health of local residents as freight and cars increase tenfold with about 100,000 extra vehicles each day on the current congested roads systems.”

The groups also questioned where housing would be built for the influx of workers expansion would bring, especially considering Crawley’s inability to meet its current housing needs.

The concerns of the campaigners were shared by most at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Full Council on Monday (January 26), even those in favour of a second runway.

But for some, the benefits of expansion – not only to Gatwick but to Crawley – made the second runway an attractive prospect for the town’s future economy.

Cllr Stephen Joyce (Lab, Langley Green) said: “I’m concerned about the future of this town. I am also concerned about jobs going forward.

“The retail in the town centre is slowly dying but we’re trying to reinvigorate it. Manor Royal is dependent on Gatwick as well.”

In an attack on opponents of expansion, he said: “The very vocal minority are NIMBY’s.

“All they want is to sit back in their back gardens, sipping their G&T’s and not worrying about it.”

While supporting the idea of a second runway, Cllr Joyce agreed the information provided in the Airports Commission’s report into Gatwick was not very clear.

He added: “If the decision is for a runway to come to Gatwick I will welcome it but I think we have an awful lot of work to do to try to get the best deal for Crawley.”

EPSON scanner image

The land taken up is in brown, the land which will be taken up following expansion is in blue

Crawley Observer – Council votes ‘no’ on second runway at Gatwick Airport

Council votes ‘no’ on second runway at Gatwick Airport
Responses will be submitted to Airports Commission
28th January 2015 – Crawley Observer

By Karen Dunn
phone 01293 845058

Crawley Borough Council has voted to oppose expansion at Gatwick Airport.

Councillors aired their views and took part in a free vote at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Full Council on Monday (January 26).

The result – 25 votes to 11 against the building of a second runway – will be included in a detailed response submitted by the council to the Airports Commission.

Only Cllr Liam Marshall-Ascough (Con, Southgate) failed to attend the meeting.

Noise, traffic and housing needs were among the concerns raised as was the physical impact a second runway would have on the town.

Cllr Keith Blake (Con, Gossops Green) was one of several councillors who felt residents did not fully appreciate how large the expanded airport would be.

At 10,000ft in length by 500ft wide, he said it would be like having Dartford’s Queen Elizabeth Bridge sitting at the top of Manor Royal.

On the opposite side of the coin, council leader Cllr Peter Lamb (Lab, Northgate) warned there would be economic consequences if a runway was not built.

He said: “If Heathrow expands, Gatwick stands to lose 6,000 airport related jobs. That’s existing jobs, not future jobs.”

Cllr Lamb added: “Low-cost airlines might still want to stay at Gatwick but trying to build an airport purely on the basis of EasyJet is a recipe for disaster.”

Cllr Brenda Burgess (Con, Three Bridges) said she had felt “blackmailed and a little bullied” by such claims.

She was one of several councillors who did not subscribe to the suggestion Crawley would wither and die without a second runway.

Cllr Geraint Thomas (Lab, Northgate) said: “The second runway is not some sort of last chance saloon. Crawley should have the self-confidence to mould its own urban future.”

The Airports Commission’s public consultation ends on February 3. The council’s submission will highlight inaccuracies in employment and housing figures being considered by the commission. It will also state Crawley’s estimated infrastructure requirements – money for things such as new roads – had been “seriously under-estimated”.

In addition, it will ask the commission to undertake more work on noise and air quality impacts.

A spokesman for Gatwick said: “While obviously disappointed at this decision, we will continue to work closely with Crawley Borough Council to illustrate the benefits of expansion. We will also do as much as possible to minimise, mitigate against, or compensate for the effects of a second runway, including the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.”


The public gallery was packed as Crawley Borough Council debated its position on possible expansion at Gatwick Airport