Gatwick announced a 5-year plan* to make the most of the current facilities that they have with one runway having lost out to the Heathrow economic benefit of new runway.
CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, raise concerns to why the plan by Gatwick is flawed now let alone in five years time:
· The southern railway improvement, as detailed by Gatwick for the Windmill Junction at East Croydon, paid for by the Government; Network Rail** has explicitly said that new capacity is not for expansion at Gatwick but to deal with existing overcrowding and future background population growth in the South of England. If Gatwick grows further, the benefits from these taxpayer-funded improvements (worth £4bn) will be consumed by the airport, robbing commuters of the relief from over-crowding and luggage carrying passengers they were promised
· The M23 smart road system was not implemented to appease Gatwick growth, but for the natural growth of the southeast Gatwick Diamond “corridor” with the M23 reducing to a single lane into Croydon; the M23 will be at full capacity by 2030 and 2040 with a smart lane
· Crawley has major air quality issues *** that Gatwick does not address even though it continues to breach air quality. Crawley already has just under 4 times the recommended limit for what are termed “pm2.5” particulates.
· Gatwick has seen drastic increases in complaints from communities due to the noise impact aircraft are having on rural areas. In 2006 annual complaints totaled 2,673; the 2017 flight performance report released this month by Gatwick shows complaints surging to 24,658, an increase of 21,985 even though Gatwick has made it harder for residents to complain by removing the phone line and email address.
· The aviation industry struggles to fill large planes and so revert to smaller planes, which can fly full of low cost passengers rather than with empty seats – the A380 order book illustrates this****
Sally Pavey chair of CAGNE said:
“Gatwick continues to ignore the areas to the east and west of Gatwick that are expected to endure ever increasing noise from aircraft day and night. They ignore the number of vehicles they add to the minor roads surrounding them that have to endure the congestion and decline in air quality.
Gatwick management do not consider those residents that, having obtained data from the Civil Aviation Authority through and Freedom of Information, have seen a 11,642 increase in departures with no respite from arrivals or departures for 2017 This has led CAGNE to employ solicitors, Harrison Grant, to seek that Gatwick take into account the totality of noise, seek a fair distraction of increased traffic, that they expect communities to endure 24/7.”