Gatwick Airport – Crawley News

Congestion Charge Proposal at airport
Staff and visitors may have to pay a fee if second runway agreed
27th May 2015 – Crawley News


Chris Ballinger

A Congestion charge could be introduced at Gatwick Airport for passengers and employees if a second runway is built.


The possibility of a charge for people travelling to the airport, including possible exemptions for the “greenest” vehicles, has been included in a West Sussex County Council report.

In the event of Gatwick being chosen as the preferred option for a new runway, passengers, staff at the airport and even taxi drivers could all be forced to pay.


The report, which forms part of the council’s response to the Airports Commission, reads: “Depending on the scale of charge imposed, and the extent of the scheme (whether it targets passengers, employees and/or taxis), it is possible that traffic generation with the expanded Gatwick Airport could be reduced to 2013 levels.”

Maidenbower county councillor Bob Lanzer believes the idea is worth looking into. He said: “It is an option that I think would be more acceptable if there was strong evidence to show a significant increase in air pollution would happen without it.

“Without pre-judging a debate into this, I believe there would be technology available, such as automatic number plate recognition cameras, which could be installed at the airport boundary to differentiate between resident vehicles and passengers travelling to the airport.”

Sue Mullins, a county councillor for Gossops Green and Ifield East, said she would not support a congestion charge. Cllr Mullins said: “I think that would be one quick way to upset the people of Crawley.

“Even if it started by charging passengers, such a charge could quite easily snowball out of control and end up forcing residents to pay too. I don’t think it would be suitable. London is very much a different kettle of fish to Crawley.

“If Gatwick was to get a second runway we would have to look at proper traffic calming measures across the town; how every roundabout, junction, feeder road and arterial road works. “Implementing a congestion charge to discourage road use would not be an adequate solution.”

The charge is currently just a mooted idea and detail has not been given on how it would be administered – including times, where exactly the charge zone would be and who would definitely have to pay.

The London Congestion Charge, a comparable scheme, was introduced in 2003 and is in operation Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm. It costs £11.50 a day.

However, a Gatwick Airport spokesman said bosses have already guaranteed air quality levels would remain within legal limits close to the airport, even without considering a congestion charge.


In January county councillors voted to oppose a second runway being built at Gatwick.

This was a reversal on the council’s position in 2013, when the majority of members voted to support expansion at Gatwick Airport “in principle”.

The Airports Commission was expected to make a recommendation to the Government in June on whether Gatwick or Heathrow should get a new runway. But the commission decided another consultation, this time on air quality, needed to be carried out first. That is due to end on Friday.

What do you think about the suggestion? E-mail your views to email

Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Need for airport expansion ‘urgent’ say business chiefs
20th May 2015 – Crawley Observer

By Tim Harris
phone 01403 751203

One hundred business chiefs have written to the Government, urging ministers to fast-track the expansion of either Gatwick or Heathrow.

gavin hayes

Gavin Hayes, director of Let Britan Fly

Campaign group Let Britain Fly says Britain would lose out if the Government did not act decisively on an upcoming Airports Commission report, which will recommend expanding Gatwick or Heathrow.

Signatories include a number of business leaders from major firms, including many from the FTSE 100; alongside the heads of business organisations including the British Chambers of Commerce, IOD, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and London First.

Let Britain Fly director Gavin Hayes said: “The new government should use its fresh mandate and make a bold and early decision to build a new runway. With all of London’s airports forecast to be full by 2030, kicking the can down the road is no longer an option.

“This will be one of the first big issues that will test whether the Government is capable of .making strategic decisions in the national interest.

“The Conservatives pledged in their manifesto they would ‘respond to the Airports commission’s Final Report’, to maintain the trust and confidence of the business community it’s essential that response is both positive and timely.

“After almost three years of debating the issue in a Commission decision-day is fast approaching.”

“One of the most urgent infrastructure priorities for the new Government is the decision to expand airport capacity.

“Expanding our international connectivity is fundamental to ensuring Britain remains open for business and would give a much-needed boost to trade, tourism, investment and economic growth right across the country. By value forty per cent of our exports go by air; we trade up to twenty times more with countries we have a direct air link to.

“With Heathrow already full, Gatwick full by 2020 and most of London’s other airports full by 2030, the demand for expansion is self-evident.

“As people who run some of Britain’s leading businesses, it concerns us that other countries plan on building over fifty new runways between now and 2036. China alone will build seventeen. Whilst in this country we haven t built a new full-length runway in the South East since 1945.

“Decades of inaction mean we are falling behind our competitors. Paris has 50% more flights to China. Whilst Dubai International recently overtook Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport.

“This is why when the Airports Commission publishes its Final Report, we urge the new Government to make an early decision on airport expansion and end over half a century of political procrastination.’

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

An image of the proposed Gatwick second runway

Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Airport air quality focus
Airport expansion debate turns to pollution
13th May 2015 – Crawley Observer

By Anna Coe
phone 01403 751203

Gatwick Airport and anti-expansion campaigners are both claiming victory as a fresh consultation on pollution was launched last week.

Gatwick and Heathrow have been fighting a fierce battle for an extra runway and Airports Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies was expected to publish his report next month. Alongside a second Gatwick runway, he is also considering two options for Heathrow.

But on Friday May 8 Sir Howard called for a fresh consultation to gather opinion on how air quality will be affected by each of the bids.

Campaigners against expansion at Gatwick say this will rule it out of the debate.

Chairman of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign Brendon Sewill said: “It will make a runway at Heathrow less likely because already the pollution is above EU limits.

“The EU directive states that where air quality is good it must be minimised or improved. Looking at Gatwick, it is better than Heathrow, but if it must be kept at a minimum or improved, it’s very difficult to see how that’s going to be done with more aircraft and the huge increase in road traffic.

Meanwhile the airport saw it as a time to gain the upper hand over its rival.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “It is highly significant that the first decision by the Airports Commission after the election is to consult on the issue of air quality. It shows that the issue has now become fundamental to the choice that lies ahead. It is an issue that cannot be ignored.

“This decision obviously follows the Supreme Court judgement last month which requires the new Government to prepare a plan to meet EU air quality regulations.”

He added: “Air quality has been a show stopper for Heathrow before and it is now clear that it will be again.

“In contrast, Gatwick has never breached legal air quality limits and its location means it can guarantee that it never will. This decision is about the economy and the environment. Gatwick’s plan is simpler, cheaper, faster and quieter – above all it can actually happen.”

The commission expects to make a recommendation to Government in the summer.

Stewart Wingate

Gatwick Airport Ltd chief executive Stewart Wingate

How to respond to consultation
Residents and businesses have until 12 noon on Friday May 29 to respond to the consultation on air quality. To view the documents and to make comments go to
website and email

People can also reply by writing to:
Airports Commission,
6th Floor, Sanctuary Buildings,
20 Great Smith Street,

Gatwick News – Crawley Observer

Airport accused of ‘scare tactics’ over noise leaflet
29th April 2015 – Crawley Observer

By Observer Reporter
phone 01293 845058

Gatwick Airport has been accused of using’scare tactics’ to gather support for a second runway.

An open letter, sent to Gatwick Airport Ltd chairman Roy McNulty, criticised the distribution of 400,000 leaflets to residents in the Heathrow area which warned of the noise pollution expansion in London would bring, while declaring “Gatwick sounds better”.

The letter, signed by former East Surrey MP Sam Gyimah, accused Gatwick of ignoring the views of its own community as it strived to secure the recommendation of Sir Howard Davies and the Airports Commission.

The letter stated: “It is unacceptable that you continue to ignore your own communities, those who will be most affected by the considerable impact of expansion at Gatwick, and to suggest that’Gatwick sounds better’. “It doesn’t, and if Mr Wingate or his team had taken the time to adequately consult with his local communities he would know this.”

It added: “Instead of frightening the communities around your competitor, you should focus on engaging with the communities that surround your airport.”

A Gatwick spokesman defended the use of the leaflet and added: “We issued a leaflet to Heathrow residents because we do not think the local communities around Heathrow have been given the facts about the huge and direct impact expansion will have on them.

“We have always been open with our neighbours – we accept more people will be impacted by noise if Gatwick expands and that is why we will offer an industry leading noise insulation scheme and direct cash compensation.

“The leaflet uses Airports Commission data and shows which areas would be affected by expansion at both airports. The contrast is stark and shows that 20 times fewer people would be impacted by noise if Gatwick expands.”