Stop Gatwick Expansion

Gatwick Airport is seeking growth, with one runway using the modernisation of airspace (FASIS – Act of Parliament 2021) and by rebuilding the emergency runway as a 2nd runway.  They will do this via a Development Consent Order (planning process) and aim to go to Government (Planning Inspectorate) early in 2023.

In 2014 CAGNE led the way in opposing a 2nd runway at Gatwick Airport.  This was the battle between Gatwick and Heathrow, with the Airport Commission being the deciders in who received a new runway. 

2015: CAGNE opposes all airport expansion, so we fought to oppose all growth and support colleagues in Heathrow.  We continue today to oppose all airport expansion for environmental reasons with our environmental campaign #PledgeToFlyLess – you can sign up to the mailing list by emailing pledgetoflyless@gmail.com

The CAGNE success has been down to you, our members, and working with elected members and other environmental groups – both here and abroad.

2018: CAGNE launched ‘Not Now, Not Ever’ campaign when Gatwick launched the Master Plan for 3 runways.  CAGNE has continued to lead numerous campaigns to oppose such expansion.

Today – Gatwick seeks growth from runway ONE with approx. 55,000 extra flights a year, from 285,00 (pre-COVID) to 340,000 by 2033 with no extra funding for infrastructure and no compensation for noise.  One of the ways they will achieve this (with or without a new runway) is via the Government’s plans to modernise the airspace (flying over new areas could well be a factor).

Rebuilding the emergency runway as a SECOND runway seeks to add 382,000 flights by 2033 as part of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), through a planning application called a Development Consent Order (DCO).

2021: CAGNE launched a campaign and met with residents to highlight the poor Gatwick 2 public consultation.

2021: CAGNE ran a string of environmental online eventsTime is Ticking series – to highlight how Gatwick growth, with ONE and TWO runways, would impact our natural world and the planet.  The 2nd series of Time is Ticking talks take place during COP27.

CAGNE has highlighted the issues in our response to Transport for the South East consultation with Gatwick ONE and TWO.

2022: CAGNE informed residents of the additional poor public consultation by Gatwick, concerning new road networks to benefit Gatwick for 2 runways, but not residents.

Two runways do not currently exist that Gatwick can use together on a regular basis.  Gatwick must rebuild the emergency runway (i.e. not use it as currently existing), plus numerous new taxiways and onsite infrastructure, to enable it to become a safe 2-runway airport.

Huge construction will be required for the new runway, taxiways, hotels, offices, roads, etc, etc. All bring with them carbon footprint and nightmare construction traffic for residents.

A 2nd runway would add over 1 million tonnes of extra carbon a year, plus other greenhouse gases, soot, and vapours.  Gatwick continues to ignore this pollution in its consultation.  Gatwick 2 also ignores the housing/storage of alternative fuels and the rising cost of fuel (both fossil fuel, and the cost of a greener fuel which is estimated to be 3 times the current costs, once developed).  There is no silver bullet to an alternative fuel, say aviation, which is set to continue burning fossil fuel for the foreseeable future.  The Government advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, calls for a stop to all airport expansion (June 2022) and continues to warn the UK Government of not meeting carbon reduction targets (October 2022).

Gatwick 2 ignores the new Environment Act that includes air quality as a major consideration.  Gatwick already has a problem with the small PM2.5 particles that are released from plane tyres and roads.

Aircraft noise is a major issue for Gatwick, but they continue to mislead residents.  The poor, complex, long (over 1,000 pages) consultation in 2021 did not give Gatwick a mandate to go forward with noise envelopes (which are supposed to be legally binding).  These are mentioned, but no further details are provided, and they do not cover the areas that are impacted today.  They can also be changed to accommodate the modernisation of airspace (FASIS), to allow for continued growth of the airport – many new flight paths are proposed, many of which are over new areas. Gatwick is already designing this modernisation based on a 2-runway airport – very misleading to residents as Gatwick 2 say no new flight paths!

Gatwick offer a Noise Envelope as a guarantee of the noise that residents can expect with 2 runways, but this does not cover the area recognised by Gatwick as to be impacted the most by the significant increase in plane movements.

Nothing has changed since Gatwick was turned down in favour of Heathrow expansion by the Airport Commission in 2015.  Gatwick sits on a single arterial road (M23) and a single railway line that can’t be expanded.  

The new road infrastructure proposed for Gatwick 2 benefits Gatwick Airport but does not benefit the residential roads and lanes, with the vast increase of passengers, workers, and freight movements which will overflow from the major routes to avoid congestion. Gatwick offer cycling and walking as ways in which they will reduce carbon travel to the airport, yet it is currently too dangerous to cycle to work at the airport or through the airport on the London to Paris Route 21.

There is no taxpayer funding for further rail improvements of the Brighton Line. Recent improvements were designed to improve daily usage and not to accommodate a 2-runway airport.  The taxpayer paid for the new Gatwick station but now, with the £5 drop-off fee, Gatwick Airport are pushing traffic to feeder rail stations.

Gatwick has always struggled to fill jobs, and this has not changed. They now look for workers in far-reaching areas, from where they cannot cycle or walk to work, as proposed by Gatwick 2. With the salaries offered for most jobs, workers struggle to buy or rent a house close enough to the airport to walk or cycle. 

Gatwick is recognised to be reducing jobs through automation (baggage handlers, air traffic control, check-in), so the promise of new jobs is not what it seems.

Gatwick 2 presents a false economy to workers and residents.  With recession and downturn of the economy, Gatwick Airport is hit the hardest due to its business model of leisure travel.  Crawley Borough Council has recognised this and is now looking to greener industries to bring jobs and stability to the county, rather than being too reliant on Gatwick Airport that is seen as a volatile sector.

Gatwick struggles now with one runway – Gatwick Airport and its airlines are currently struggling to effectively run a decent service for passengers with a one-runway operation. What makes them think that they will do any better in operating a two-runway airport?

Donate as we seek to oppose Gatwick 2 in early 2023.