LETTER: Cost burden of airport expansion

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Can Gatwick actually afford all its promises?

At the Airports Commission event, prior to Christmas, Gatwick announced that it would add to its expenditure a new terminal and passenger rail link from day one, which must add at least £2 billion to the overall costs.

Prior to Christmas Moody Financial questioned Gatwick’s financial stability to afford the expansion.

In the Airports Commission report all the finances have been removed concerning Gatwick but not for Heathrow.

So all these Gatwick promises of contributing to the infrastructure, we have to ask who will pay, as it would seem unless Gatwick are going to increase passenger fares more than anticipated by the Commission, £23 a head, in view of the extra expenditure, then we will pay.

EasyJet, Gatwick’s number one customer, has already raised concerns over the extra cost of a new runway to their passengers. With such increases in passenger fares will passengers move to Stansted or Luton for cheap flights?

The Airports Commission sees Gatwick as cheap flight airport and thus brings little into the UK economy compared to Heathrow.

The infrastructure costs have been missed in the Airports Commission report for Gatwick, so no allowance for schools, hospitals, new roads, railways, GPs, affordable housing. If one in five that work at Heathrow live adjacent to the airport then where will the 90,000 low skilled workers (AC figures) going to live?

They also do not include the extra vehicles that the families of these inward migrating workers would add to the 100,000 extra vehicles Gatwick will bring to our roads daily. And then you have to add the workers of all the new businesses that Gatwick Diamond promise will arrive but seem unable to provide evidence of.

Heathrow already has the infrastructure required for a hub airport and will have major Government investment projects to benefits passengers in the form of HS2 and Crossrail which Gatwick does not have.

Will businesses relocate out of the area as they can’t afford to compete against Gatwick salary structures or as office and warehouse space costs escalates due to pressure of large companies forcing existing buinsesses out, and will the 286 businesses bulldozed relocated to a patch of Gatwick land and want to have Gatwick as a landlord or endure the noise of an airport larger than Heathrow?

Gatwick intend to use both runways to full capacity so an incident, like the recent Virgin plane, could be made far worse as the two runways are close together and would be working at full capacity, so would both runways have to be closed? The Civil Aviation Authority is already raising concerns to how close the two runways are.

At the Airports Commission Heathrow hearing it was recognised, by the Commission, that the CAA state that new planes are not quieter but no mention of this for Gatwick as the areas surrounding Gatwick are rural and far quieter than Wandsworth - day and night!

In fact Heathrow will actually affect far fewer new people than expanding Gatwick with aircraft noise.

The money coming in to WSCC and HDC, will it actually cover the billions that the infrastructure will cost to support Gatwick 2 or will we see our council tax drastically increase as WSCC and HDC find themselves with even greater short falls than they have now.

And the Government so far has not found money for us in Sussex so why should they suddenly finding funding to support this offshore property developer?

It is election time and you need to ensure that those you elect represent you and not the offshore owners of Gatwick Airport.

Visit www.cagne.org and find assistance in how to answer the Airports Commission consultation, it could be the most important consultation you will ever take part in and if you leave it to others it will be too late.

Say No to a 2nd Runway at Gatwick Airport before 3rd February.

SALLY PAVEY

Chair of CAGNE, Mayes Lane, Warnham