Gatwick Airport Ltd is currently consulting on its new Master Plan. The deadline for comments is 10th January 2019.
Gatwick want to:
- increase the use of the runway from 55 to 60 flights an hour and increase the number of hours in the day when they operate at that capacity.
- use the emergency runway routinely, increase flights to 70 flights an hour.
- safeguard land to the south of the airport for a future runway.
Find the full Master Plan and consultation on www.gatwickairport.com
Leigh Parish Council has joined a group of other local parishes called High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group. As an individual Parish Council, we represent our community and therefore have the opportunity to respond to consultations on your behalf. Whilst this does have an impact, by joining forces with other local parishes under a group initiative, we will have a far greater impact. The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group (HWCAAG) was formed in 2013 and has held regular meetings to discuss current consultations and how the group can campaign against aircraft noise, low-flying aircraft, night flights and the threat of a second runway at Gatwick Airport.
The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group's Response is below - the full version is available at www.hwcaag.org. The main points of objection which you can include are:
- The councils agree that the most significant issue is that the Master Plan takes no account of the need to balance growth with environmental impact.
- The effect of 60 air traffic movements per hour and “peak spread” will make air traffic controllers direct aircraft to join the final approach in a more concentrated pattern further from the airport.
- It also increases the chances of spill over from the day schedule into the night period. This is not acceptable.
- We support sustainable growth at the airport. 45 flights an hour would allow for maximum dispersal, and growth based on sustainable year round use.
- A full airspace change should be required.
- Gatwick must protect and compensate residents for the disruption.
- The environmental impact has not been balanced with growth.
- Use of the emergency runway makes the issue of environmental noise impact; lack of adequate surface access; air pollution even harder to solve. Use of the emergency runway creates safety concerns if the main runway is out of action.
- The increase in use, and for that peak capacity to be spread, will bring increased concentration of flights making an already unsustainable situation worse.
- We strongly oppose the safe-guard of land to the south of the airport for an additional runway. The UK has decided on a hub at Heathrow.
- This change along with the one in 2013 constitutes a 35% increase in overflight.
- Gatwick should adhere to World Health Organisation guidance; provide a noise protection scheme; noise insulation for homes; compensation for loss of amenity.
- Climate scientists are currently warning of the necessity to reduce carbon emissions and prevent permanent damage to the planet. The Master Plan does not recognise the severity or the proximity of that threat.
- Gatwick and the airlines need to be carbon neutral. Gatwick needs to be playing a clearer role in helping the Government meet its carbon targets.
- Gatwick’s engagement strategy has been to set up new forums to engage with the public, but then fail to act on what they are told. The airport knows the impact without doing anything to mitigate or compensate those negatively affected.
- Our residents use the M23 and M25 and Southern Rail routes to London for work and leisure on routes that are already at full capacity. The M23, M25 and Brighton main line are not suitable to carry the increased number of passengers.
- Infrastructure improvements that are listed in the Master Plan are designed to deal with the recent increase in passenger numbers rather than future increases.