Gatwick Obviously Not.org

e-newsletter No.99


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Gatwick's expansion

Yesterday Gatwick confirmed that they wish to:

  1. Use new technology to build capacity and resilience on the main runway;

  2. Bring the existing standby runway into routine use, for departures only, alongside the main runway by the mid-2020s;

  3. Recommend that planning policy continues to safeguard land for an additional runway.

(Source: https://www.gatwickairport.com/futureplans)

Taken together these proposals would increase flights using the airport by about 40% and passenger numbers by over 80% with inevitable consequences for noise, emissions and congestion. While retaining the possibility of a new third runway too.

Given the environmental concerns for the Planet, so powerfully stated by Greta Thunberg, we think they're in Cloud-Cuckoo land. White elephant anyone?

"Sweden's departure lounges are looking less crowded as more Swedes are deciding to take the train rather than fly.
Passenger numbers at Swedish airports have dropped 8% so far this year. The fall-off coincides with the rise of Sweden's latest buzzword: "flygskam", or flight shame."

(Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/sweden-has-invented-a-word-to-encourage-people-not-to-fly-and-it-s-working/)

However, no one is complacent. Gatwick means business.

So do the local MP's.

They have a 'co-ordination group', Chaired by Tom Tugendhat MBE MP and issued the statement below yesterday. If your MP isn't a signatory, why don't you ask them why not?

GON met this week with the newish Independent Aircraft Noise Commission, ICCAN, in Penshurst. It's not the new Regulator which this spoilt industry so desperately needs but a group looking to 'take control of the noise agenda'. It was a constructive meeting and we look forward to their plans taking real effect.

Tom Tugendhat MBE MP

House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

PRESS RELEASE

18 July 2019

GATWICK CO-ORDINATION GROUP OPPOSE GATWICK AIRPORT MASTERPLAN PROPOSALS

BEGINS

MP's from the Gatwick Co-ordination Group have expressed concerns about the rapid growth plans for Gatwick Airport. This follows Gatwick Airport's announcement today of expansion plans for what could be a three runway airport.

The MP's shared the following statement:

"Gatwick has grown significantly over the past decade. It has offered greater numbers of flights to more destinations and created jobs in the process. However, the benefits of growth have not been well distributed with the local community.

"More people are impacted by Gatwick's noise operations than 10 years ago, both close to the airport and many miles away under flightpaths, creating health issues for local residents and congestion through inadequate infrastructure.

"Over the past few years Gatwick Airport has continually under invested in the local amenities and social infrastructure that would be required to support a project of this size and scale. We cannot support expansion of the Airport without a comprehensive investment in the local area which would ease pressure on the over-stretched road and rail systems serving the airport.

"At a time of increasing concern about the environmental impact of global aviation growth, the proposed expansion plans would see a marked increase in carbon emissions, with clearer environmental consequences for us all. We should not be looking at unchecked expansion at our local airports but seeking managed growth that is proportionate to our other national priorities.

"The safeguarding of land for a new full runway is a clear indication that Gatwick has future plans to build a third runway, as well as converting the current standby runway into a second runway. With today's announcement it is now clear that Gatwick Airport's new owners are determined to push for rapid commercial expansion and aviation growth despite the restrictions imposed upon the airport by its poor transport connections and its rural position adjacent to Green Belt land as well as the arguments made against a third runway at Gatwick in the London Runway Review.

"We are keen to enable the airport to make viable returns for its shareholders however this also requires a sustainable and achievable plan for the future of Gatwick Airport which acknowledges the limitations on aviation growth at the site that exist due to local infrastructure, environmental and geographical factors.

"Gatwick Airport's plans to build up to have up to three runways in operation do not represent a sustainable plan for the environment and the local community. It would mean more noise, more carbon emissions, faster climate change, more health problems for local residents and greater congestion. We have written to the Secretary of State to indicate our opposition."

Sir Paul Beresford MP, Member of Parliament for Mole Valley
Crispin Blunt MP, Member of Parliament for Reigate
The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Member of Parliament for Tunbridge Wells
Gillian Keegan MP, Member of Parliament for Chichester
The Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP, Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex
Tom Tugendhat MP, Member of Parliament for Tonbridge and Malling

CC:
The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, Member of Parliament for Guildford
Jeremy Quin MP, Member of Parliament for Horsham

ENDS

We're away for a while so preferably hold-off with your emails of consternation about Gatwick's expansion for now, please!

Yours

Martin Barraud
Chair
Gatwick Obviously Not

www.gatwickobviouslynot.org
ask@gatwickobviouslynot.org


July 19th 2019
 


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