GACC finds Gatwick Master Plan contains serious misrepresentations and is deeply flawed

The GACC committee finds the master plan contains several serious misrepresentations.  It conceals the increase in noise that will occur from a rise in number of flights by 60%.  It says the aviation industry contributes £53 billion to UK’s economy per year, while the DfT gave the figure of £9 billion. They have committed the
elementary economic error of using gross turnover rather than net output. It omits
mention of jobs exported due to outward-bound tourism and makes over optimistic
jobs claims.   Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign

Master Plan deceptions

24.10.2011  (GACC press release)
The GACC committee has now had time to study the Gatwick master plan published
on 13 October, and have found that it contains several serious misrepresentations.

1.  Noise concealed.

Aircraft noise is the most serious adverse impact of the airport for local
residents.  The master plan admits that the effect of the proposed 117 extra flights
a day will be to increase the number of people seriously affected by aircraft
noise by 60% from 3,100 to 4,952.  The total number affected by noise will rise
from 9,000 to over 12,000.    Yet that key fact is not mentioned until page 80,
and is not included in the executive summary.  Worse:  it is nowhere mentioned
in the glossy leaflet which is being distributed to thousands of homes around
the airport, nor in the exhibitions being held in local towns.

2.  Economic benefit exaggerated.

Top of the list of benefits in the leaflet is the statement that: “The aviation
industry contributes £53 billion to the UK economy every year.”  That is a gross
exaggeration:  the Department for Transport have recently given the figure as
£9 billion.   What Gatwick airport have done is to take the gross turnover, not
the net output.  “That is an elementary economic error” says GACC chairman, Brendon
Sewill, a former Treasury adviser, “like an estate agent claiming that his personal
output is measured by the value of the houses he sells.”

3.  Jobs ploy.

The master plan, the leaflet and the exhibitions make much of the fact that
airport expansion will provide extra jobs.  As Sewill says:  “It is a standard
ploy for all airports to exaggerate the new jobs which will be created by airport
expansion – ‘More jobs’ makes an easy headline”.  But the master plan does not
admit that previous employment forecasts have all proved over-optimistic.  For
example, in the year 2000 the airport predicted that by 2008 the number of on-airport
jobs would increase by 7,000 – it actually fell by 2,000.

4. Jobs exported.

The master plan boasts of the airport’s contribution to in-bound tourism but
fails to mention the effect of outward-bound tourism.  Three out of four Gatwick
passengers are British residents.  Spending their money abroad creates jobs there,
not here.  So the airport expansion will mean that for every job created by inbound
tourists, three jobs are exported.

The GACC committee have concluded that “Concealing a key fact, exaggerating the
benefits and pretending that everything is perfect, means that the consultation
is seriously flawed, little more than a public relations exercise.”

For further information contact

Brendon Sewill  01293 863369

John Byng  01293 537234

Peter Barclay  (radio and TV)    01293 863049



The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, founded in 1968, has as members around
a hundred District and Parish Councils and amenity groups. GACC also have many
individual members who pay a small annual subscription.

GACC  is a voluntary association, with an executive committee elected each year
at our AGM.   Care is taken to ensure that our committee includes representatives
from each area around the airport, and that each committee member is prepared
to work for the general public welfare of the whole Gatwick area.

GACC is totally law abiding, and relies on rational argument to influence government
and aviation authorities.



see also



Gatwick master plan consultation launched, with runway in prospect after 2020


The master plan – released today for a 12 week consultation period ending 13th
Jan 2012 –  forecasts an increase in the number of flights from 243,000 a year
now up to 280,000. Also up to 40.5 million passengers annually on the one runway,
and then perhaps even up to 45 million.   The airport admit that it will mean
more climate change damage, making Gatwick one of the most polluting sites in
the south of England.   There will also be more noise.  GACC has released its
initial comments.