New briefing “Gatwick Unwrapped” by GACC provides comprehensive detail for Commission consultation responses

GACC has now had time to read the consultation documents from the Airports Commission carefully, and give consideration to the detailed impacts of a 2nd Gatwick runway.  In a thorough analysis, carefully argued and fully referenced, entitled Gatwick Unwrapped, GACC has set out why the glossy promotion of Gatwick’s runway plans – at substantial cost – by the airport, is not all it seems. Looking at the details, GACC says the runway has been sold to the public gift-wrapped in a massive advertising and lobbying campaign, but when “unwrapped” it falls far short of expectations. GACC has looked at a range of issues, including the numbers of jobs to be created; the available work force within the area; transport problems for road and rail; numbers of houses required …… and so on. GACC wants everyone to respond to the current consultation (closing date 3 February) by saying ‘No’ to a new Gatwick runway. Gatwick Unwrapped provides facts and figures to help people respond. And Gatwick Unwrapped is being sent to all local councillors.  Many local councils are due to vote in January on whether to support or oppose the runway. “When they see the full facts” says GACC Chairman, Brendon Sewill, “no councillor in their right mind would vote for a new runway.”


Gatwick Unwrapped

5 January 2015 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

…… The document here – Gatwick Unwrapped Jan 2015    …….

GACC today launches the next stage in its campaign to stop a second runway at Gatwick.

The aim is to encourage as many people as possible to respond to the current consultation by the Airports Commission (closing date 3 February – details below) by saying ‘No’ to a new Gatwick runway. The main weapon in the new battle is a document Gatwick Unwrapped which examines the runway plans in detail.

According to GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill: ‘The runway has been sold to the public gift-wrapped in a massive advertising and lobbying campaign, but when unwrapped it is not “what we always hoped for” !

Among the facts unearthed by GACC, and supported by academic style analysis – are that:

• The total number of jobs created by a new runway would be around 60,000, leading to massive in-migration from elsewhere in the UK or from the EU;

• 100,000 more vehicles on the roads every day;

• Over 90,000 extra people every day using rail services in the Gatwick area;

• 40,000 new houses required (previous estimate by West Sussex County Council confirmed);

• Three times as many people affected by aircraft noise as at present;

• Twice as many aircraft on existing flight paths;

• Two new flight paths over Horsham, and a new flight path over Copthorne and Crawley Down;

• New airport boundary only 100 yards from Crawley residential area;

• Up to £28 extra per return flight to pay for the cost of the runway.

Gatwick Unwrapped is being sent to all local councillors today. Many local councils are due to vote in January on whether to support or oppose the runway. ‘When they see the full facts’ says Brendon Sewill, ‘no councillor in their right mind would vote for a new runway.’

Gatwick Unwrapped  – January 2015



See also

Gatwick Key Runway Facts

RUNWAY FACTS – Gatwick Unwrapped

References are to paragraphs in the GACC brief  Gatwick Unwrapped  which contains a full explanation and the original sources.


Size. A two runway Gatwick is forecast to handle 96 million passengers a year,
making it bigger than Heathrow at present. (4)

Jobs. At present there are 23,200 airport jobs. A second runway would add
about an extra 20,000 airport jobs. On top of this new firms attracted to the
area, or expansion of existing firms, would add another 25,000. And a further
local 15,000 jobs would be created when those employees spent their money.
Total around 60,000. (5-9)

In-migration. Due to low unemployment locally, the extra jobs would lead to
large scale in-migration from other parts of the UK and from the EU.
New houses. About 40,000 new houses would be needed, equivalent to a new
town the size of Crawley. And a severe strain on local hospitals, schools etc(10-13)
Businesses. 286 business premises would be demolished. (14-15)

Proximity. The new airport boundary would be only 100 yards from the
residential area of Crawley. (16-18)

Noise. Three times as many people as at present would be significantly
affected by aircraft noise. (19-22)

Noise worse in rural areas. Because of the low background noise, aircraft
cause more annoyance in rural areas and AONBs. So any comparison with
Heathrow numbers is invalid. (23-25)

New flight paths over previously peaceful areas would cause intense
disturbance, distress and anger. (30-40)

Road congestion. Air passengers plus Gatwick employees plus employees in new
firms would mean an average 100,000 more vehicles a day. Plus more
commercial traffic. Gatwick only propose minor improvements. Therefore M25 likely
to be at a standstill. Traffic jams at all local junctions. (43-50)

Rail over-crowding. Over 90,000 extra people a day due to use rail services in
vicinity of Gatwick. Improvements planned but all are needed just to deal with
forecast growth without a 2nd runway. Result – standing room only. (51-56)

Heritage. 19 listed buildings would be demolished – more than at any time
since the WW II blitz. (57-61)

14 hectares of ancient woodland would be destroyed with no adequate replacement possible.(62)

Climate change. Twice the number of flights would mean twice the climate
change damage. And twice the local pollution. (67-68)

Economic benefits? Extra income would mainly accrue to new workers moving
into the area, not to existing residents. There would be an adverse national
effect in worsening the north-south divide (69-73)

Tax subsidy. Airlines pay no fuel tax and no VAT. Only a quarter is balanced
by air passenger duty. Gatwick Airport has paid no corporation tax for the past
four years. These tax subsidies make air fares artificially cheap.

Worse for passengers. The cost of a second runway would be borne by Gatwick
passengers, with airport charges per head going up from £9 to £15-£23. That
would be unattractive to low-cost airlines. (79-82)

Risk of decline ? A new runway at Heathrow would mean charges there rising
to £28-32 while Gatwick charges would remain at around £9. So no risk of
airlines moving to Heathrow. (83)

No need for any new runway. If the trend for more passengers per plane
continues – there will be no need for a new runway. Stansted and other
airports north of London are only half full (86-88)         Email





Details of the Airports Commission consultation on a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick


Consultation document

(94 pages, including the questions)


Ways to respond

Respond online


Complete a response form and either

Email to:
Write to:
Airports Commission Consultation
PO Box 1492
GU22 2QR

 And much more detail, with links to all the various documents, here