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.

   For GACC press release on 24.10.2011 Master Plan Deceptions (see below)

GACC will be playing a leading role in the consultation process, and in particular
we will be demonstrating that the figures given in the master plan for economic
benefit and for employment are grossly exaggerated.


Runway opposition confirmed

13.10.2011 (Gatwick Area Conservation Committee – GACC – press release)

The new Gatwick master plan, published today, contains plans for a possible new
runway sometime after 2020.  “If that were ever to become a serious threat it
would be fought tooth and nail by GACC, with support from hundreds of thousands
of people throughout Surrey, Sussex and Kent,” said Brendon Sewill, chairman of

“But we believe it will never happen.  It is Government policy that no new runways
should be built in the South East.  The official forecasts show that the London
airports will not be full until 2030, and it would make no commercial or environmental
sense to build a new runway while there is still unused capacity.   If oil prices
rise the date may well be much later.   

It is significant that the new master plan does not forecast the airport reaching
40 million passengers a year until 2020.  Ten years ago the airport forecast that
this figure would be reached by 2008/9.    That is a reminder that master plans
are no more than optimistic wish lists.

Nevertheless, by merely publishing a plan for a new runway, the airport will
cause anxiety and blight to many people who will find it more difficult to sell
their houses.

No one should think that a new runway would be just a strip of concrete.  The
master plan shows that it would need a huge new terminal.  It would mean twice
as many aircraft (with two parallel arrival routes and two parallel departure
routes) and twice as much noise, pollution and traffic.

GACC has submitted important and well researched evidence to the Government showing
why any new runway at Gatwick is impracticable.    We note that the new master
plan admits that the site would be very small and cramped.

We are pleased that the master plan makes no reference to the ludicrous ‘Heathwick’
London-Gatwick rail link.  If deep-bored that would be extremely expensive for
little benefit;  if not deep-bored it would do huge environmental damage;  it
could only avoid double immigration and customs procedures if the passengers were
locked into sealed coaches;  and it has been rubbished by many airlines.

A research paper by GACC which is being considered by the Government, shows in
detail why Gatwick can never become a subsidiary hub to Heathrow.

The master plan forecasts an increase in the number of flights from 243,000 a
year to 280,000 and we will the fighting to ensure that this does not mean more
noise.  The airport admit that it will mean more climate change damage, making
Gatwick one of the most polluting sites in the south of England.   

GACC will be playing a leading role in the consultation process, and in particular
we will be demonstrating that the figures given in the master plan for economic
benefit and for employment are grossly exaggerated.

see also

the Gatwick Airport Press Release:

Gatwick Airport launches its vision for the future

13 October 2011

  • Gatwick publishes its draft master plan setting out its vision for developing
    the airport to accomodate 40 million passengers a year by 2020
  • Gatwick remains committed to achieving growth through its single runway and two
    passenger terminal operation
  • Key focus on investment, economy, transport links and employment
  • Public consultation will be extensive as Gatwick uses online and social media
    which is available 24/7 to ensure everyone can have a say.

Today marks the beginning of a three-month public consultation on Gatwick Airport’s
draft master plan. This plan supersedes the 2006 interim master plan published
under the previous ownership. As an independent airport, Gatwick is now looking
ahead to 2020, setting out in detail the developments required for the airport
to make the best use of its single runway.  

Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport said: “Our ambition is to compete to
grow and become London’s airport of choice. Today we set out our vision for the
future and how we can grow to handle 40 million passengers by 2020. Our plans
focus on continuing to improve service levels by investing in the airport, our
employees and in the communities we serve. I encourage those who live and work
around Gatwick to share their views with us.”

Much of the development needed to support this growth is already underway through
Gatwick’s £1 billion investment programme. This week, Gatwick opened its new £45
million 19-lane state-of-the-art security area that will see passengers benefiting
from a fast, smart and efficient security experience. Next month, a £75 million
expansion of its North Terminal will be complete, creating more space with new
check-in desks and baggage facilities. Longer term plans will see projects that
will enable Airbus A380 operations, expand North Terminal security search area,
provide additional pier-served aircraft stands and reconfigure the North Terminal
international departure lounge.

Gatwick is also exploring ways of using its existing runway more efficiently.
Growing traffic during off-peak periods when existing runway capacity is not being
fully utilised is one way of doing this. Bringing in newer, larger aircraft at
Gatwick will also encourage growth in passenger numbers and this will require
some minor adjustments to the airfield and the way passengers are handled from
these aircraft.

The aviation industry contributes £53 billion to the UK economy every year. Gatwick
is a central part of this contribution. Gatwick currently generates around £2
billion annually to the economy of London and the South East. It also directly
employs 2,500 people, with an additional 23,000 airport jobs and a further 10,500
jobs in the local area being directly or indirectly supported by the airport.
By 2020, Gatwick’s growth should create an extra 1,700 on-airport jobs with over
double that number of local support jobs. It will also generate a further £300
million to the economies of London and the South East alone.  

Travelling to and from the airport is an important part of the passenger experience
and Gatwick wants to offer a strong range of service options. Today, 40% of all
Gatwick passengers come by public transport. One third arrive and leave by rail.
By 2020 there will be more people on local rail services and roads as a result
of our future growth. In 2012 work begins on Network Rail’s £53 million rail station
enhancement scheme, to which Gatwick contributed £7.9 million, will see additional
platforms to accommodate more trains whilst improving the overall experience.


Master Plan consultation


The Gatwick Master Plan consultation is at

It closes on 13th January 2012.

and the full document is over 24 MB – so too large for many people to download
easily. It is summarised on the Gatwick Airport website with the Executive Summary

This includes these statements:

S8 Gatwick is the busiest single runway airport in the world. We believe that small
increases in peak hour movements may be possible, and that there are opportunities
to grow traffic in the existing off-peak periods when existing runway capacity
is not being fully utilised. Combined with an expected gradual growth in average
aircraft size, we believe Gatwick can realise significant growth through more
efficient use of its existing infrastructure.

S9 By making use of the full potential of the single runway we believe we will
grow to 40mppa with 286,000 aircraft movements by around 2020/21.

Looking further ahead, we think Gatwick, with a single runway, has the potential
to grow up to 45mppa by 2030.

S10 In moving towards this level of growth, we will make every effort to maintain,
and, where possible, improve the sustainability of our operations. We will seek
to ensure that the airport remains affordable to airlines and their passengers,
that service levels remain high, operations are resilient to the effects of disruption
and that adequate airspace and surface access infrastructure is in place to support
the growth we envisage.

S17 By 2030 Gatwick could be handling up to 45mppa but, with a single runway. This
means we will be operating at full capacity.

S18 A large proportion of this growth would be accommodated by making use of currently
unused capacity outside the peak periods. We expect that the amount of new infrastructure
needed to support it will be relatively small. However, some redevelopment will
be necessary, for example, in order to comply with any new statutory requirements
for security and border control, deliver enhanced passenger service or improve
energy efficiency at the airport. All airport developments other than surface
access improvements should be contained within the existing airport boundary.

S19 We think that further improvements to some of the key road junctions around
the airport may be needed – but this is largely driven by the forecast growth
in background traffic.

S20 We have no current plans for a second runway at Gatwick. The scenarios outlined
above are based on Gatwick remaining largely the same size – with a single runway,
two terminals and within its existing boundary.

S21 At the same time, like any business, our plans need to cater for all eventualities.
We do need to anticipate that, in the long term, a second runway at Gatwick may
be needed.

S22 This means that, we will continue to safeguard land for future expansion because
we believe it to be sensible business practice and it supports current Government



See also
Gatwick covets “London’s airport of choice” crown

13.10.2011 (ABTN)

by Sara Turner

Gatwick Airport aims to be serving 40 million passengers a year by 2020, nearly
10 million more than in recent years.

The south-east airport, owned and operated by BAA until December 2009 when it
was bought by London City Airport owners Global Infrastructure Partners, hopes
to hit 45 million passengers by 2030.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport’s CEO, said: “Our ambition is to compete to
grow and become London’s airport of choice.”

In the last financial year (April 2010 to March 2011) 31.6 million passengers
flew from Gatwick, which was down from 32.4 million the previous year.

The airport’s record figures, in 2007, saw 35.1million passengers travel through
the airport.

To achieve the rise in numbers, the airport has set out a master plan, which
includes making better use of existing facilities alongside the £1 billion investment
currently underway.

Earlier this week Gatwick opened its new £45 million high-tech security area
in the South Terminal, and next month the £75 million expansion of the North Terminal
is due to be unveiled.

Other projects include enabling Airbus A380 operations, expanding the North Terminal
security area and reconfiguring the North Terminal international departures lounge.

The masterplan, currently in draft format and open to discussion, outlines key
ways that Gatwick hopes to grow, including making sure the runway is used more

However, the plan does not explore airport expansion, which under the current
government has been ruled out in the south-east.


GACC press release

GACC finds Gatwick Master Plan contains serious misrepresentations and is deeply

Date Added: 24th October 2011

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.

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