17 August 2019
Gatwick Airport has new owners and they want to massively expand the number of planes that can use it. No matter that we're facing a climate emergency and urgently need to cut emissions.
According to the Aviation Environment Federation's report (1) into Gatwick's new Master Plan, Gatwick will release an extra 1m tonnes of Carbon into the atmosphere if it goes ahead and uses the emergency runway daily.
Gatwick has buried the impact of their plans on the climate on a single page of its plan. Worse, they're massively underplaying it. The AEF report points out that Gatwick's emissions figures don't include the majority of emissions produced in the climb and cruise phases of flight.
No matter that the government's enquiry into airport capacity was absolutely clear that Gatwick was the wrong airport for such growth. No matter that the people living near Gatwick and under its flight paths are miserable, dealing with noise, congestion and pollution that Gatwick simply doesn't acknoweldge.
Gatwick's new owners know they won't get permission to build a brand new runway, so how are they going to do this? One: they plan to build the main runway's capacity using new technology.
Two: they plan to bring the standby runway into routine use for departures.
Three: they want planners to block other development on land they could use for an additional - third -runway.
Gatwick campaign group GON says that these combined proposals would increase flights using the airport by about 40%. They would increase passenger numbers by over 80%. Campaign group CAGNE says, “To use the emergency runway alongside the main runway is in effect a second runway as it will have to be moved by some 12 metres to allow it to be used. As such it is a stealth second runway without the full parliamentary scrutiny or any funding for our roads or railway line that will see a huge increase in passenger and workers numbers migrating into Gatwick.”
The consequences for noise, emissions and congestion are appalling. And that's without the new runway Gatwick's owners plan in the longer term.
Local MPs have issued a press release opposing these plans - but Wealden MP Nus Ghani's name is conspicuously absent.
We'll be campaigning hard on this, working with the expert Gatwick campaign groups and local people to make sure this doesn't happen. We'll be part of a roadshow bringing all the information to local people in the autumn - watch this space for news.
How does Gatwick affect you now? How would this massive expansion affect you? Please tell us - your stories are powerful, and will hugely help our case. If you don't want to share here on Facebook, please email us at email@example.com