Gatwick Airport issued a press release (29.6.17) delighted at the growth in passenger numbers, with the CEO detailing it as ‘another record-breaking year’.
He boasts of increase in cargo but omits to mention that cargo arrives via our roads nor that the increases in aircraft movements is causing intolerable noise for communities in Sussex, Surrey and Kent seven days a week day and night.
As passenger numbers grow, Gatwick detail 45m, they do not mention how they arrive at the airport to board low cost airlines.
These passengers arrive via our congested roads and railway line. Last week Gatwick detailed how they will lobby to have the government pay for upgrades of the Brighton to London mainline but made no offer of Gatwick paying towards the upgrade. The same can be said of their lobbying for a new platform that they expect the Government to pay for with our taxes. It would seem this time they are competing against the demands for infrastructure funding from the North where jobs are needed.
The fact is that Gatwick is only just passing its pre-recession figures of aircraft movements and was sighted in the Daily Mail (28.6.17) for having the worse delays of over 30 minutes according to the air regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority.
How long can this airport continue to grow as it costs more to travel to London by train from Gatwick than it does to fly to Paris? At present airlines receive 85 per cent of their allowances for free carbon trading. This counts as a huge subsidy for the sector, especially when you consider their fuel tax and VAT exemption unlike other industries. Is much of the growth being witnessed due to low cost fuel? What will happen with a recession or an oil price rise?
Communities near and far from Gatwick should be concerned as the CEO of Gatwick is quoted as saying; ‘We continue to offer the UK a financeable and deliverable second runway scheme which we stand ready to deliver should the Government give us the go-ahead.’
We should all be concerned about Gatwick’s growth with or without a second runway as our air quality will inevitably decline as the more passengers, as well as freight, endeavour to reach Gatwick by road and who will pay for their infrastructure demands? It is obviously not Gatwick.
Chair of CAGNE, Mayes Lane, Warnham
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