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For some recent news stories about Gatwick, see
HAVE YOUR SAY – by 19th November 2023
Briefing for DCO Registering for Representation
UPDATE BY GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) ON GATWICK’s DCO APPLICATION
People are encouraged to have their say on Gatwick Airport’s application to government for a second runway – before the deadline of 29th October. Now extended to 19th November.
GACC have outlined below what is proposed, and some key issues which people might wish to raise in registering your interest in challenging Gatwick’s 2nd runway plans.
Gatwick’s massive expansion plans
Gatwick has submitted a planning application which if approved, would allow the airport to grow from 46 million passengers in 2019 to 80 million passengers per annum (over 70% growth) and from 281,000 aircraft movements in 2019 to 386,000 aircraft movements per annum (over 35% growth).
This application proposes to grow Gatwick to be as big as Heathrow in its busiest year ever, in 2019. This is far more than just “moving a runway 12m sideways”!. It is a multi-billion pound programme to expand taxiways, terminals, piers, hangers, hotels, offices, water treatment, flood works, parking and much more – together with road widening and two motorway-style grade separated interchanges offsite. Together this would result in a massive increase in airport operations to enable many more flights. The true scale of this project and its impacts should not be under-estimated. This airport growth would have very significant impact on noise, carbon emissions, public transport and road congestion and associated air pollution, and add further pressure on affordable housing, local road congestion and parking, water use and flood risk. A summary of the plans is set out in the Non Technical Summary (45 pages).
The application is following the Development Consent Order process as set out in the Planning Act 2008. This means it is being assessed by the government’s Planning Inspectorate (PINS) who will then advise the Secretary of State for Transport on whether to grant or refuse the application, including associated conditions. PINS have six months to carry out its examination once the process starts, expected to be in the next month or so.
Gatwick consulted on its proposals in 2021 and 2022, which we challenged robustly. The government rejected calls for further public consultation.
Have Your Say
Anyone can register as an Interested Party to have their say – by submitting a Relevant Representation to PINS.
This is your opportunity to submit your views on Gatwick’s plans. You can register and submit a relevant representation HERE.
But you must register before the deadline of midnight on 29 October 2023.
Make Your Voice Heard
Your Relevant Representation should set out the issues that most concern you, in your own words. It will be seen by PINS and published on their website. You will be able to submit further comments during the examination of the application once you have registered, so you only need to set out headline views at this stage.
Parish Councils and Residents Associations are recommended to mention that they are democratically elected organisations representing their residents.
You may want to refer to some or all of the following points in your Relevant Representation.
Expansion of Gatwick would significantly increase aircraft noise both for those living near the airport and for those further away under flight paths. The noise envelope Gatwick has proposed are not consistent with government policy and CAA guidance and are wholly one-sided. They should be substantially revised.
A ban on night flights should be a condition of any expansion at Gatwick. The airport should also be required to set out a comprehensive package of measures to incentivise the use of the quietest aircraft at night outside the hours of a ban.
Climate change and air pollution.
Expansion on the scale proposed would increase very substantially the CO2 emissions and other climate effects associated with Gatwick’s operations and flights. There are currently no proven technologies for reducing aviation emissions at scale. Expansion of Gatwick would therefore have a material impact on the UK’s ability to meet its carbon reduction targets. Carbon emissions will also result from construction works and increased road traffic to the airport. Flights and traffic will make air pollution worse.
Gatwick’s targets to increase how many people bus, train, walk and cycle are insufficient to prevent a massive increase in road traffic around the airport. This increase in traffic would increase congestion on local roads and increase off-airport parking. Gatwick is not providing any extra rail services but the project will increase pressure on future train services, with the result that more passengers will have to stand on the mainline services between London Victoria and Brighton.
Over the years the River Mole and its tributaries have flooded, especially when the Airport and sewage treatment plants discharge water in extreme events. Climate change is making these extreme events more frequent and severe. Expansion of the Airport, and other developments locally, need to properly take this into account.
Gatwick’s overall case for expansion does not comply with the Airports National Policy Statement which requires airports (other than Heathrow) to demonstrate sufficient need to justify their expansion proposals, additional to (or different from) the need which would be met by the provision of a Northwest Runway at Heathrow.
This growth at Gatwick will have a huge adverse environmental effect on our communities and countryside. The only people to benefit will be Gatwick’s shareholders.
The economic benefits of expanding Gatwick have been overstated by the Gatwick Airport Ltd. Significant economic, social and environmental costs have been ignored and/or understated. The economic benefits of air transport growth are subject to diminishing returns. In an already highly connected economy such as the UK, additional economic benefits from further expanding air transport are largely dependent on net inbound tourism and business travel growth. Both of these are absent in the UK today (more people fly on holidays overseas and business travel has flat-lined in the UK since 2006 as set out here). When Gatwick’s scheme costs, benefits, and the long-term societal risks are taken into account, the scheme’s economic case no longer stacks up and entails unreasonable levels of risk to local, national and international wellbeing. In addition, the proposed scheme by incentivising UK residents to spend more overseas, this project will cost jobs and economic activity at home, particularly in the poorest parts of the UK, contradicting the government’s levelling-up agenda.
To read Gatwick’s plans in more detail you can access the application documents on different topics easily via the document library. If you have specific points you would like to share with us, please reply to this email.
But most importantly, please do make sure you have your say – by the 29th October by clicking HERE.
Gatwick has delayed consultation about its expansion plans until 2021. It had intended to consult in 2020, but has been so badly hit by the fall in air travel demand that it is now not even likely to re-open its southern terminal until perhaps summer 2021. Link
Gatwick airport: majority stake 50.01% sold to French group Vinci; GIP and partners retain 49.99%
Gatwick Key Runway Facts
and longer, more detailed briefing, Gatwick Unwrapped sets out the arguments, to give people the information they may need to help write responses to the Airports Commission consultation (deadline date 3rd February).
How to complain to Gatwick, if you are bothered by their aircraft noise
Gatwick Airport has a complaints form. There is also a way to complain by phone.
Phone number: 0344 892 0322
How to complain to Gatwick
If you wish to raise a complaint with Gatwick, have as much of the following information ready as possible:
• Your name and address including postcode.
• Date and time of the incident
• Count the engines on the aircraft. Other details might well be useful (eg Airline).
• The nature of your complaint (noise, low flying etc).
• Any other details you may have of the aircraft and flight.
The complaint form is at https://viewpoint-eu.emsbk.com/lgw3
Flight tracking apps can help you find out about the aircraft and its flight details, for more information about these see our FACTS section.
If you are dissatisfied with the response you can contact one of the local community groups around Gatwick in your area, who may be able to suggest further action.
Gatwick’s Noise Reports can be found at https://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/aircraft-noise-airspace/noise-reports/
Airspace Office annual report 2019 includes numbers of complaints, where they are from etc
Airspace Office annual report 2018
Flight Performance Team annual report 2017
Flight Performance Team annual report 2016
Flight Performance Team annual report 2015
Gatwick Noise Management Board
The NMB was set up in response to protests about the new flight paths introduced in 2013-14. In addition to various aviation bodies such as air traffic control, it has on it four representatives of local protest groups with another four protest groups acting as alternates. GACC represents the whole area around the airport and is a member of the main airport consultative committee but is not a member of the NMB. Because the local protest groups only represent specific areas, and indeed because there are many towns and villages not represented on the NMB, GACC initially proposed that all NMB meetings should be open to the public so that those not represented could have their say, but it was decided that only one in every four meetings. The 4th meeting is open to the public, and will be on 31st January 2017.
Details and papers from past meetings are at http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/aircraft-noise-airspace/airspace/noise-management-board/
If you have damage to your property, from a Vortex – or an ice fall – caused by an aircraft overhead
Councils around Gatwick opposed to a 2nd runway
Almost all the county, borough, district, town and parish councils around Gatwick have decided to oppose a second runway.
- Kent County Council has reversed its position, from support for a second Gatwick runway to opposition.
- After a long and passionate debate, West Sussex County Council councillors voted 37:26 to cancel their support in principle and to oppose a 2nd runway.
- Surrey County Council is sticking to its policy, agreed a few years ago, to oppose a second runway unless sufficient infrastructure improvements are made first.
- Crawley Borough Council, the planning authority for Gatwick, has voted 25:11 to oppose a second runway.
- Horsham District Council has voted 23:1 against.
- Mole Valley District Council has voted unanimously against.
- Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has voted 39:1 against.
- Tandridge District Council has sent in a response drawing attention to its core strategy to oppose any expansion of the airport which would adversely affect their residents.
- Mid Sussex District Council has strongly opposed a 2nd runway
- Wealden District Council has opposed a 2nd runway
- Reigate and Banstead Council is still making up its mind.
- Horley Town Council and virtually all the fifty or so parish councils around Gatwick have voted No to a runway
- The only odd one out is East Sussex County Council which voted 27:19 to support a 2nd runway. Most of the votes in favour came from councillors in seaside areas such as Hastings or Eastbourne who were enticed by the prospect of more jobs.
- None of the Members of Parliament around Gatwick support a 2nd runway. Eight out of nine MPs have declared their opposition. One (Henry Smith) says that Gatwick have not yet made a case for a new runway. He has now said (13th April 2015) that the costs of a runway “(environmental & infrastructure pressure) outweigh any benefits”.
Gatwick Airport’s Flight Tracking – Webtrak
Local community groups
Main long established local residents’ group :
Airlines using Gatwick:
BA British Airways
VS Virgin Atlantic
TCX Thomas Cook
EI Aer Lingus
FR Air France
For passenger numbers, air transport movements, and air freight tonnage each month, compared to the same month a year earlier, see Gatwick Passenger, ATM and air freight data
Gatwick Airport Annual Reports and Financial Statements:
The Second Runway Issue
GACC has set out the arguments why a second runway at Gatwick would not work. See GACC booklet.
Gatwick is a small airport, and is confined by the towns of Horley and Crawley, and by the medieval village of Charlwood, and also by high ground to the west and the main London – Brighton railway line to the east. Charles de Gaulle Airport at Paris is five times as large.
Gatwick has one main runway, and one subsidiary runway which can be used when the main runway is not available. The two runways are too close together to be used simultaneously.
Any new runway is ruled out before August 2019 by a legal agreement between BAA and West Sussex County Council signed in 1979. Because of the constricted topography at Gatwick, any new runway won’t work from an aviation point of view.
For more details see The Runway Issue
Gatwick is the world’s largest single runway airport where more than half the flights are low cost. Few passengers – approximately just one in 10 – use Gatwick to transfer to other flights.
Master Plan – July 2012
GACC welcomes the low priority given to a new runway in the Gatwick master plan
July 23, 2012 GACC, the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, has commented on the Gatwick Airport Master Plan that was published last week. They welcome the assurance given by the Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate, that “Gatwick Airport is not actively pursuing, promoting or lobbying for a 2nd runway”. However, GIP, the major shareholder in Gatwick, wants to sell its shares in around 2018 and the prospect of a new runway would improve the price. GACC reiterates that there is no space for an efficient new runway (as the master plan admits) and it is doubtful if a new runway would prove profitable. GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill, said: “If any new runway ever became a serious possibility, there would be massive opposition from across Surrey, Sussex and Kent.” GACC have also rubbished the economic figures in the master plan, with its hugely exaggerated jobs claims, and inaccurate and inflated figures of alleged economic benefit. Click here to view full story…
Some general information about the airport:
Master Plan Interim October 2006. Then Gatwick master plan 2012
Gatwick Airport. Flights and CO2 emissions.
Analysis of flights, routes, and top 10 destinations from Gatwick Airport in 2011.
Also carbon emissions.
And passenger growth and numbers over the past 15 years. http://www.awsw.co.uk/allco2/LGW_co2.html
CAA aviation statistics
2010 31,342,000 (down – 3% on 2009) link to 2010 data
Air Transport Movements
Future plans: 40 million passengers per year by 2015.
Second runway, after 2019
Consultative Committee: Gatwick Area Consultative Committee (GACC)
Serviced by West Sussex County Council. Chairman John Godfrey, Vice Hilary Sewill.
Good support for environmental issues.
Local residents’ or airport opposition group :
Recent news about Gatwick Airport See Gatwick News
Gatwick Airport Website – facts and figures about Gatwick
Business Aviation: Number of business flights (= private jets)
CAA statistics, annual figures – Table 3.1
2007 475 (+ 1,499 air taxis)
2008 5,412 (+ 1,482 a ir taxis)
Gatwick Airport signs up to new legal commitments 15.12.2008
05 January 2009 London Gatwick Airport has signed a new legal agreement with West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council. The agreement outlines how the airport’s operation, growth and environmental impacts will be managed responsibly. It underpins the important relationship between the airport owner and its local authorities with responsibility for planning, environmental management and highways.
The new legal agreement, reached after a process of consultation and discussion with a wide range of stakeholders, contains wide ranging objectives and obligations. In addition to West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council, in whose areas the airport lies, seven other adjoining councils were consulted.
This new agreement and London Gatwick Airport’s interim master plan supersede the Gatwick Airport Sustainable Development Strategy, published in July 2000 and the original legal agreement signed in 2001. The new agreement will run until the end of 2015.
“The signing of this agreement between the airport and our two local authorities is of great importance to all of us and builds on the original ground-breaking agreement,” Andy Flower Managing Director London Gatwick Airport said. “It will bring significant benefits to the airport and the community it serves and affects. It demonstrates a desire for all those involved to see the airport grow to 40 million passengers per year and to delivering new capacity for the south east, whilst balancing our environmental impacts. We are entering a new chapter in Gatwick’s history with the sale of this national asset and this legal agreement continues to define Gatwick’s future and the role it will play in the local, regional and national economy.”
The key issues addressed in the agreement include climate change; air quality; noise; surface access; land use, development and bio-diversity; community and the economy; action planning and monitoring and reporting.
BAA press release 5.1.2009