Flights over Kent & Sussex countryside set to double if Gatwick builds 2nd runway
The Airports Commission consultation documents show that flights from Gatwick over the countryside and towns in most directions around the airport would more than double the airport was permitted a 2nd runway. The Commission’s assessments, and various scenarios for forecasts, show a runway at Gatwick would be cheaper and perhaps simpler than one at Heathrow, but provide less economic benefit. The Chairman of the High Weald Councils’ Aviation Action Group, Richard Streatfeied said: “I don’t think this report is worrying because it shows the benefits of a 2nd runway at Gatwick would be half that of Heathrow.” He warned people living below the flight paths would face an “environmental calamity” if there was a new runway, with up to 560,000 aircraft movements per year, compared to 250,0000 now. Dominic Nevill, spokesman for the Crowborough based pressure group, East Sussex Communities for Control of Air Noise (ESCCAN), urged people to make their views on the report known, as the 2nd runway would be a disaster not only for their area, but far more widely.
Flights over Kent and Sussex countryside set to double if Gatwick builds second runway
14.11.2014 (Kent and Sussex Courier)
By Debbie King ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
FLIGHTS over the countryside and towns of East Sussex and west Kent would more than double if Gatwick wins its fight to build a second runway, according to a new report.
The document, produced by the Airport Commission, which has been looking into the pros and cons of expanding Heathrow and Gatwick, also says expanding the Sussex airport would be the easiest and quickest way of increasing airport capacity.
However, it would not produce the same economic benefits as expansion at Heathrow.
The point has been leapt upon by anti-noise groups, which say choosing Gatwick would be the short term “bargain-basement option”.
Chairman of the High Weald Councils’ Aviation Action Group, Richard Streatfeild said: “I don’t think this report is worrying because it shows the benefits of a second runway at Gatwick would be half that of Heathrow.
“Gatwick looks positive – good value – but you would not get the benefits to the whole country and that is the whole point.”
Mr Streatfeild said he believed the report’s estimate of a £9.3 billion price tag for Gatwick’s expansion was a “serious underestimate” of the actual costs of implementing the proposals.
Both options for Heathrow – a second runway and the lengthening of an existing runway – are thought to cost substantially more.
But he warned people living below the flightpath would face an “environmental calamity” if Gatwick approves the preferred option.
“The commission’s report shows a total of 560,000 aircraft movements compared to 250,0000. That’s more than doubling,” he added.
Dominic Nevill, spokesman for the Crowborough based pressure group, East Sussex Communities for Control of Air Noise (ESCCAN), urged people to make their views on the report known.
“It is so important. If Gatwick gets built it would mean the destruction of the south east,” he said.
“People should be made aware – they should get involved because the benefits of Gatwick’s expansion are so hard to see. It would be a disaster for our area locally.
“When you actually get into the detail of this report but also what a second runway would mean, it is pretty disturbing.”
People have until February 3 next year to comment on the Airport Commission’s report .
The several hundred pages of analysis claims:
Gatwick could “make an attractive alternative to a constrained Heathrow” providing “greater choice” for UK residents using it as a hub.
The loss of homes would be “relatively small”, but 70 hectares of woodland would be lost.
There would be a “neutral overall” impact on quality of life with the creation of jobs weighed up against negative impact of noise.
The High Weald Council Aviation Group will be publishing a full response to the report on its website in mid December at www.gatwickobvioslynot.com
Airports Commission documents:
New flight paths revealed in Airports Commission documents – a noise double whammy for Horsham
The Airports Commission has put out various documents in its consultation (main consultation document, main Gatwick document, other noise documents) on the issue of noise. GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has unearthed a plan showing some possible new flight paths if a 2nd runway was built. The Commission emphasise that the map is only illustrative and does not represent where the routes might actually be. That would only be revealed after the new runway had been given the go-ahead. There is therefore no clear detail on flight paths, with no certainty of any sort for those who fear being overflown in future. This uncertainty generates very real concern and anger. The map indicates a massive increase in noise from take-offs to the west and south-west of Gatwick, over Warnham, north Horsham with perhaps a plane per minute between the two, relatively close, flight paths. Gatwick with two runways is planned to handle 560,000 air traffic movements a year, compared to 250,000 a year now. The impact of these flights would be profound, over an extensive area.