GACC point out that there is no robust business case for a 2nd Gatwick runway

The Select Committee on Transport, in their report published today, recommends that Gatwick Airport Ltd should ‘develop a robust business case to demonstrate the role that a two runway airport could play in increasing airport competition.’  GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) commented that they agree with the Committee that no robust business case currently exists, and that the economics of a 2nd Gatwick runway do not stack up. Gatwick Airport has said in their business plan that a new runway and a new terminal would cost £3 -5 billion, but they only paid £1.5 billion for the whole airport in 2009. It is unlikely that the airlines will want to pay the necessary rises in charges. In reality with larger planes increasingly being used, there is no need for any new south east runways. Gatwick campaigners stand shoulder to shoulder with those at Heathrow and Stansted in resisting any new runways in the UK.



The Commons Transport Committee report on airport capacity: A robust business case ??

10 May 2013 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

The Select Committee on Transport, in their report published today, recommends that Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) should ‘develop a robust business case to demonstrate the role that a two runway airport could play in increasing airport competition.’  [Link – Aviation Strategy. 

GACC agrees with the Select Committee that no such case exists at present.  GAL have stated that a new runway and a new terminal would cost £3 -5 billion. [Gatwick Airport Business Plan.  April 2012].   That is two or three times as much as they paid in 2009 to buy Gatwick – £1.5 billion.

As Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC, said:  ‘Where is the money coming from?   Would the Gatwick airlines such as easyJet be willing to pay higher landing fees?  Even if there were a business case for a new Gatwick runway, the environmental case against is overwhelming.’

The main recommendation of the Select Committee, however, is that Heathrow should be expanded, with one or two new runways.  GACC believes that this is unnecessary *[see below].  ‘We stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues at Heathrow and Stansted in resisting any new runway.’

GACC is pleased that the Select Committee has ruled out the ‘Heathwick’ concept of a high-speed rail link between Gatwick and Heathrow .  ‘It was always an ultra-silly idea with a huge environmental cost,’ said Sewill.


*The official forecasts of future demand are based on an unexplained assumption that the trend towards larger aircraft slows down.  If instead the number of passengers per aircraft continues to increase at the same rate as over the past twenty years, it can be shown that there will be no need for any new runway in the South East before 2050.  [SSE paper on  Aviation Demand Forecasting

 GACC website


Transport Committee’s “Aviation Strategy”



Transport Select Committee’s call for a third runway at Heathrow branded ‘predictable’

Friday 10th May  (HACAN)

The call by the Transport Select Committee for a third and possibly fourth runway at Heathrow has been branded by campaigners as ‘utterly predictable’.

John Stewart, the Chair of HACAN which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said “This is an entirely predictable report from a committee which has always favoured expansion at Heathrow. The only difference this time is it thinks there might even be a case for two new runways. But its influence on the final decision is likely to be limited. That decision, which will not be taken until after the next General Election, will be much more influenced by voters’ distaste for a third runway than a predictable report from this committee.”

The report follows the publication on 9th May by the business lobby group, London First, of its evidence to the Airports Commission where it calls for the introduction of mixed-mode at Heathrow.

Mixed-mode would mean both runways were in use all day long. It would end the current practice where aircraft switch runways at 3pm to give residents in the worst-affected boroughs a half day’s break from the noise. Stewart said, “London First doesn’t seem to understand how much residents value their respite period. If it was taken away, there would be revolution even in Richmond.”   .




Commons Transport Committee wants a 3rd Heathrow runway + perhaps later a 4th runway

May 10, 2013

The House of Commons Transport Committee gathered evidence on airport capacity at the end of 2012, to submit to the Airports Commission. They have now produced their report “Aviation Strategy” in which they say they reject “calls for a new hub airport east of London and urge the Government to permit the expansion of Heathrow where a 3rd runway is long overdue.” Its Chairman, Lousie Ellman, said “We recognise that demand for air travel across the UK is forecast to grow, believe that aviation should be permitted to expand and accept that more capacity is necessary to accommodate sustainable aviation growth.” Also “We conclude that a 3rd runway at Heathrow is necessary, but also suggest that a 4-runway proposal may have merit, especially if expanding to locate 2 new runways westwards from the current site could curb the noise experienced by people affected under the flight path.” It mentions establishing “a national scheme to ensure adequate compensation for people affected by noise from expansion at Heathrow.” The report also want HS2 to go to Heathrow; better rail links to Gatwick and Stansted; advantages for regional airports; and reassessment of APD and its effects (which demonstrates how much industry lobbying has influenced the report). HACAN said the Committee’s report was predictable.

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