Gatwick Airport launched its Five Year Master Plan on Thursday 18th October 2018, which includes a proposal to convert the existing Emergency Runway into a fully active second runway.
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign Chairman, Peter Barclay, said, “We strongly oppose any second runway at Gatwick and it will fight this proposal tooth and nail.”
The Emergency Runway is located parallel to and approximately 190m north of the Main Runway. Planning permission for it was granted solely on the basis that under no circumstances could the Emergency Runway be used in conjunction with the Main Runway. The Civil Aviation Authority approval also only permits the use of one or the other runways, thus the Emergency Runway may currently only be used when the Main Runway is out of action due to an incident or during maintenance.
Peter Barclay went on to say that, “The proposal, which may bring in excess of 80,000 additional flights a year, will simply increase the problems already being experienced by local communities – noise, air pollution and excessive road traffic. It would also put even greater pressure on the tottering road and rail infrastructure both locally and further afield. The legal agreement prohibiting a second runway at Gatwick expires in August 2019 and it would appear the airport is attempting to get a second runway via the back door as it were. Any proposal to bring the Emergency Runway into operation will need approval from the CAA and other safety bodies, as well as needing planning permission for Change of Use.”
The use of the Emergency Runway in conjunction with the Main Runway will substantially increase the noise and health impacts on residents living to the north of the airport. Additionally, the increase in the number of flights would have considerable noise impacts on those beneath the now concentrated departure and arrivals flight paths to both the east and west of the airport.
Peter Barclay concluded, “People will feel angry and deceived following parliament’s overwhelming decision in June to confirm the government’s earlier choice of Heathrow for the site of additional runway capacity in the south-east.”
We will study the proposals with care and advise our members how best to respond to the Master Plan during the twelve week consultation period.”