Gatwick airport submits application for North Terminal extension


Gatwick Airport has put in a planning application for an extension to the North
Terminal and other works to enable the airport to expand from its previous peak
of 35 million passengers a year to 40 million, with 20,000 extra flights a year.

Although   this is perhaps small in proportion to the present size of the airport,
and small by comparison with recent battles at Heathrow and Stansted, the increase
is larger than the total size of many regional airports.   It will mean more climate
change damage, more noise, and more pollution.

The application was submitted by BAA on 21st July, and it is expected to be determined
by  Crawley  Borough  Council by around 10th December.

The application is   No. CR/2009/0326/FUL

It can be found  on the Crawley  BC website at   planning application.   No date is yet given as a deadline for comments.


GACC have sent in a  letter of objection, and have also requested the Government
Office for the South East (GOSE) to call in the application so that a public inquiry
can be held.  

The proposed development, and associated works, is designed to raise the capacity
of Gatwick to 40 million passengers a year.   This compares with 32.4 million in
the past year or 35.2 million achieved in the previous calendar year peak of 2007.    
When planning permission was originally granted for the North Terminal it was
designed to enable the airport to handle 25 million passengers a year.

The proposed growth of Gatwick is bigger than the total size of many regional

The increase of 7.6 million passengers a year compared to the present, is bigger
that the total size of Bristol airport or the total size of East Midlands airport.
The increase of 5 million over the previous peak is the same as the total size
of Liverpool or Newcastle airports, and bigger than the total size of Cardiff,
Southampton and Bournemouth airports put together.

GACC has objected to the application for the following reasons:

1.  that it is premature, and that the proposed development would mean:

2.  more noise,

3.  more pollution,

4.  more traffic,

5.  more danger to the public,

6.  more pressure on scarce water resources, and would have

7.  damaging economic consequences, and would be

8.  contrary to Government climate change targets.

Government figures show that in 2005 aircraft departing from Gatwick were responsible
for 4.4 million tonnes of CO2.     The North Terminal Extension is designed to make
possible an 8.3% increase in the number of flights compared to 2008.

It is thus reasonable to assume that this would thus result in approximately
an extra 360,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.   Emissions at high altitude, however, cause
two to four times as much climate change damage as those at ground level.    

Total CO2 emissions caused by all activity in Crawley Borough – houses, offices,
factories, cars, vans and lorries – is around 735,000 tonnes.     Thus the impact
of this planning application would be more than double the total climate change
impact of Crawley Borough.   To permit this application without stringent conditions
would be to make a mockery of all the efforts of the inhabitants of Crawley to
install energy saving light bulbs or to cycle to work.

The application is not in line with the announcement made earlier this year by
the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change:   "We say that by 2050, aviation
emissions must be back to current levels. That is a target consistent with the
80% target.   Why is that significant?   Because for the first time we are saying
that aviation expansion is conditional on improvements and reductions in carbon
emissions."         DfT have confirmed that the target will be met by actual cuts
in emissions, not by emissions trading.


to see the full GACC response to the application, see GACC letter of objection      


To comment on the application, click on link