No Expansion Plan for Airport
10th July 2019 – Crawley Observer
By Joshua Powling
Gatwick has denied having any plans to expand to a three runway airport in response to claims made by campaigners.
Leaders from a number of councils in West Sussex and Surrey have argued the airport is moving ‘far too fast in it’s proposals to bring its standby runway into full-time use.
The Government is currently moving ahead with plans for a third runway at Heathrow, which was chosen as the preferred option ahead of a second runway at Gatwick.
But on Monday Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) claimed the West Sussex airport would be announcing not just growth from one runway, but expansion plans for a three-runway airport on July 18.
However this has been dismissed by the airport, with a spokesman saying: “Gatwick does not have plans for a three-runway airport. ‘oOur draft masterplan, which was consulted on earlier this year, outlined that we continue to safeguard land identified for an additional runway by the previous Government, as it has been since zoo3, which is in the long-term national interest.
‘As part of this, we made it clear that we will not actively pursue an additional new runway at Gatwick. ‘We continue to be led by Government policy around ‘making best use of existing runways’ and therefore our draft masterplan concentrates on how we could optimise our main runway and potentially bring our existing standby runway into routine use.”
CAGNE, an umbrella community group covering Sussex and Surrey, has criticised the airport for not paying heed to the impact extra aircraft movements, will have both on nearby residents and the environment.
Sally Pavey, chairman of CAGNE, said: “Aviation is one of the biggest threats our planet faces today and Gatwick Airport management now make it very clear that they have no regard for the damage they are, and will do, to the planet or the massive noise increases their plans will have on the residents of Sussex, Surrey and Kent.’
The group argues that any huge expansion of Gatwick would lead to a decline in air quality, push businesses out of the area, force mass house building and overload amenities and services.
Gatwick plan is unsustainable – Comments for the Letter Page
Sussex and Surrey community group hits back at Gatwick’s plans to push ahead with increases in aircraft movements off the main runway, use the emergency runway as a second runway and continue to safeguard land for a 3rd runway.
All the time the number of aircraft movements increases, with two runways anticipated to present a 36% increase of movements and a 3rd runway taking movements from 285,000 to 850,000 a year.
Any saving by modern planes or modern airspace is completely dispelled, by increases in aircraft movements and electric planes are not a reality for any time soon.
Aviation is one of the biggest threats our planet faces today. We call upon all climate change professionals and campaign groups to turn their attention to opposing Gatwick’s huge plans for unsustainable growth for the sake of communities wellbeing and the wellbeing of our planet for future generations.
With local authorities joining the climate change emergency efforts, it is not surprising that a joint letter has gone from the council leaders to Gatwick to show disappointment in their intended actions.
With the government ‘net zero’ announcement, which does not yet include aviation or shipping, we would urge local MPs to oppose Gatwick’s plans, which are on top of Heathrow expansion.
We urge residents to make it very clear to Gatwick that expansion of a leisure airport is too big a price to pay for future generations, for our counties that have a serious lack of affordable housing, congested roads and railway service and lacks amenities now to deal with the current population figures.
A three-runway airport, as proposed by Gatwick’s master plan, would force a huge increase of workers migrating into Sussex as well as freight and travellers through surrounding counties.
It would also spell a decline in air quality; push businesses out of the Gatwick area; force mass housing to accommodate inward migrating workers; and overload amenities such as schools and healthcare.
Join CAGNE and oppose Gatwick’s expansion plans to safeguard our future, our county’s future prosperity and that of our planet.
On behalf of CAGNE committee