GACC describes Gatwick consultation as “plush and bogus” – it gives no proper chance to say “no” to a new runway
The consultation published by Gatwick Airport today is described by GACC (the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) as ‘plush but bogus.’ It is plush because no expense has been spared in an attempt to make a new Gatwick runway look inevitable. But it makes no economic or environmental sense to build a new Gatwick runway when Stansted is not forecast to be full until around 2040. It is bogus because the Airports Commission has already ruled out Option 1, the close-parallel runway. GACC’s objections remain as strong as ever. They will campaign vigorously against any new runway. The consultation document contains no maps showing future flight paths – which is an issue of huge significance to local people. It also ignores the inconvenient issue of necessary increases in landing fees, to pay for a runway + terminal. The consultation is deeply flawed, as it gives no proper option to oppose any new runway. There is merely one small option of “None of these options” buried in its section D. That is difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’.
Plush but bogus
4.4.2014 (press release from GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)
The consultation published by Gatwick Airport today is described by GACC as ‘plush but bogus.’
Plush because no expense has been spared in an attempt to make a new Gatwick runway look inevitable. But it makes no economic or environmental sense to build a new Gatwick runway when Stansted is not forecast to be full until 2040. [Forecast published by Airports Commission. January 2014]
Bogus because the Airports Commission has already ruled out Option 1, the close-parallel runway. As GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill, said: ‘Gatwick is inviting the public to bet on a horse that has been declared a non‑runner – something that no honest bookmaker would ever do!’
GACC’s objections remain as strong as ever. We will campaign vigorously against any new runway because we believe that making Gatwick larger than Heathrow today would alter the character of Surrey, Sussex and west Kent for ever.
We will be examining the documents in detail and will point out any defects in the design. We note already two serious omissions –
– no maps showing future flight paths; and
Originally Gatwick Airport said that there would be no box for people to tick if they wished to vote for no new runway. GACC protested strongly and the airport have half relented.
There is now a box labelled ‘None of the above’. But it is difficult to find and somewhat confusing (it could mean a preference for some other runway location). A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’. As Sewill commented: ‘They’re frightened too many people would vote ‘No new runway.’
The consultation is at http://www.gatwickairport.com/consultation/ and the form can be filled in online.
Respondents may wish to go through all the options in all the sections, giving their opinion about what effect a new runway would have. They map prefer to simple put a comment in the first comment box that is available (most is must multiple choice) to say they oppose a new runway, and then tick the NO option in section D.
People can also contact the consultation team at Gatwick to say they oppose any of the three options, at:
Tel: 0800 2600 538
Email: email@example.com and/or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Consultation contains no proper NO option:
In the consultation, the ONLY option through which someone can express their opposition to any new runway is a tiny option in section D. As copied below:
Study into ticket price rise
A research study by Brendon Sewill, published by the Aviation Environment, March 2014 found that the cost of a new Gatwick runway would require airport charges (landing fees etc) per passenger to rise by £50 per return flight.
See Airports Commission forecasts 2014 and their spreadsheets showing passenger forecasts at :
Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon traded, capacity constrained Download CSV 4.03KB
Airport level passenger forecasts 2011 to 2050: carbon capped, capacity unconstrained Download CSV 4.05KB
Details of the consultation:
Gatwick consultation published: A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’
Date added: April 4, 2014
Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has put forward 3 options for a 2nd runway at Gatwick and is now asking for comment from the public to its consultation. They key omission in their consultation is a proper option to say NO to any new runway. A proper consultation would have given the public a straightforward chance to say ‘No’ at the start of the response form. As it is, there is a small box buried in section D with the option of “None of these options”. Gatwick is asking people to choose between a narrow spaced runway (something the airport does not want, as it would not be practical – so it cannot be considered a serious option) and whether a wide spaced runway(1045 metres south of the existing runway) should be used for both landings and take offs, or for just landings or take offs, at one time. The Airports Commission has effectively already ruled out the narrow spaced runway, so its inclusion in the consultation seems to be a bit of a PR exercise. The purpose of the consultation is to help Gatwick get their runway plans approved, and if possible, keep public opposition to a minimum. Consultation ends 16th May (which is the date all runway proposals must be submitted to the Airports Commission).
A new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick would mean big increases in passenger fees – New report
March 10, 2014
The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has submitted a new report to the Airports Commission which casts doubt on the feasibility of building a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow. So far there has been little realistic discussion about who will actually pay for the proposed runways. The new study,“Who Would Pay for a New Runway” by Brendon Sewill, shows that a new runway at Heathrow would be likely to mean an increase in landing fees and other airport charges from £19 per passenger now, up to £31. At Gatwick there would be a larger increase, up from £8 now to £33.60. The study points out that with all the London airports separately owned, unlike in the days of BAA, the cost will have to fall only on the passengers using that airport. If an expensive runway (and terminal) is built, the options are either that the passengers pay for it – or that it has to have public subsidy. A report for the Airports Commission, by KPMG, concluded that a new Heathrow runway would need a subsidy of around £11 billion, and a new Gatwick runway a subsidy of nearly £18 billion. However, the Government is reluctant to commit public funds, and new EU guidelines ruling out subsidies to major airports. That leaves landing charges – will passengers put up with that, or vote with their feet by using cheaper airports?