Yesterday Gatwick announced its proposed Master Plan for the Airport. It can be found here: https://www.gatwickairport.com/masterplan
Subject to regulatory and planning clearance Gatwick envisages a very significant increase in flights, over time, through the utilisation of its emergency runway. It is also seeking to continue to safeguard land to allow an additional runway to be built in the future were that ever to be permitted.
The responses of the Gatwick Co-ordination Group of MPs to the announcement are attached below.
In quizzing Gatwick with the Co-ordination Group and in studying their proposals I am deeply concerned as to their potential impact on our local infrastructure.
Any significant expansion in Gatwick flights by definition requires an increase in passenger journeys to and from the airport. It would also increase employment at the airport. Increased employment is welcome but this will also increase congestion on our road and rail network and adds still further demand to our stretched housing market.
My concerns on our local infrastructure have been compounded by recent meetings with the rail providers in which the physical constraints on our rail network and the scale of investment (including that committed to Gatwick Airport station) simply to maintain resilience and reliability on existing levels of utilisation is very stark.
Without any significant increase in flights from Gatwick our existing infrastructure network is already being expected to meet demand from an increasing population and house building designed to meet existing demand.
It is in the interests of our local economy that Gatwick prospers but no expansion plans should be approved without clear evidence that the impact on the local infrastructure and environment are manageable and sustainable.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Quin quizzing the Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport on the Master Plan at a previous meeting earlier this year.