Call for Horsham district councillors to oppose Gatwick’s northern runway expansion plans
Supporting expansion at Gatwick Airport would contradict Horsham District Council’s climate change objectives, a councillor has said.
At a meeting on Wednesday (October 13), Liz Kitchen (Con, Colgate & Rusper) will call on the council to oppose plans to use the airport’s emergency runway as a second runway.
In a motion due to be tabled on the night, Mrs Kitchen said: “Until most aeroplanes are zero carbon, which is many years away, any extra flights from Gatwick would set back our efforts to reduce carbon emissions, which are already at exceptionally high levels in some areas of our district.
“[The council] is already committed to tackling climate change.
“Whilst acknowledging the undoubted economic benefits the existing airport brings to the area and the extra 20,000 jobs it promises, it will cause yet more strain on our already overstretched housing numbers.”
Gatwick plans to use the emergency runway – known as the Northern Runway – for the departure of smaller aircraft.
A public consultation started last month and will run until 11:59pm on December 1.
Pre-pandemic, the number of passengers passing through Gatwick every year reached 46m in 2019.
It is forecast that it will take approximately four to five years for numbers to reach those levels again.
The airport argues that the Northern Runway would reduce the intensity of main runway operations, maintain continuity of operations even if one runway is out of use, improve capacity at the busiest times by removing smaller aircraft departures from the main runway, reduce taxi times and airborne holding times and reduce the risk of delay and time overruns.
Mrs Kitchen will ask her fellow councillors to object to the plans on the grounds of ‘more noise and pollution not only from the extra flights but added congestion on the already struggling infrastructure.”
To take part in the consultation, visit Gatwick’s website.