GACC Responses and Briefings

Briefing for DCO Registering for Representation



We are writing to call on you to have your say on Gatwick Airport’s application to government for a second runway – before the deadline of 29th October. We have outlined below what is proposed, and some key issues which you might wish to raise in registering your interest to join us in challenging Gatwick’s second runway plans.

Gatwick’s massive expansion plans

Gatwick has submitted a planning application which if approved, would allow the airport to grow from 46 million passengers in 2019 to 80 million passengers per annum (over 70% growth) and from 281,000 aircraft movements in 2019 to 386,000 aircraft movements per annum (over 35% growth).

This application proposes to grow Gatwick to be as big as Heathrow in its busiest year ever, in 2019. This is far more than just “moving a runway 12m sideways”!. It is a multi-billion pound programme to expand taxiways, terminals, piers, hangers, hotels, offices, water treatment, flood works, parking and much more – together with road widening and two motorway-style grade separated interchanges offsite. Together this would result in a massive increase in airport operations to enable many more flights. The true scale of this project and its impacts should not be under-estimated. This airport growth would have very significant impact on noise, carbon emissions, public transport and road congestion and associated air pollution, and add further pressure on affordable housing, local road congestion and parking, water use and flood risk. A summary of the plans is set out in the Non Technical Summary (45 pages).

The application is following the Development Consent Order process as set out in the Planning Act 2008. This means it is being assessed by the government’s Planning Inspectorate (PINS) who will then advise the Secretary of State for Transport on whether to grant or refuse the application, including associated conditions. PINS have six months to carry out its examination once the process starts, expected to be in the next month or so.

Gatwick consulted on its proposals in 2021 and 2022, which we challenged robustly. The government rejected calls for further public consultation.

Have Your Say

Anyone can register as an Interested Party to have their say - by submitting a Relevant Representation to PINS.

This is your opportunity to submit your views on Gatwick’s plans. You can register and submit a relevant representation HERE.

But you must register before the deadline of midnight on 29 October 2023.

Make Your Voice Heard
Your Relevant Representation should set out the issues that most concern you, in your own words. It will be seen by PINS and published on their website. You will be able to submit further comments during the examination of the application once you have registered, so you only need to set out headline views at this stage.

Parish Councils and Residents Associations are recommended to mention that they are democratically elected organisations representing their residents.

You may want to refer to some or all of the following points in your Relevant Representation.

Expansion of Gatwick would significantly increase aircraft noise both for those living near the airport and for those further away under flight paths. The noise envelope Gatwick has proposed are not consistent with government policy and CAA guidance and are wholly one-sided. They should be substantially revised.

Night flights
A ban on night flights should be a condition of any expansion at Gatwick. The airport should also be required to set out a comprehensive package of measures to incentivise the use of the quietest aircraft at night outside the hours of a ban.

Climate change and air pollution.
Expansion on the scale proposed would increase very substantially the CO2 emissions and other climate effects associated with Gatwick’s operations and flights.  There are currently no proven technologies for reducing aviation emissions at scale. Expansion of Gatwick would therefore have a material impact on the UK’s ability to meet its carbon reduction targets. Carbon emissions will also result from construction works and increased road traffic to the airport. Flights and traffic will make air pollution worse.

Transport impacts
Gatwick’s targets to increase how many people bus, train, walk and cycle are insufficient to prevent a massive increase in road traffic around the airport.  This increase in traffic would increase congestion on local roads and increase off-airport parking.  Gatwick is not providing any extra rail services but the project will increase pressure on future train services, with the result that more passengers will have to stand on the mainline services between London Victoria and Brighton. 

Flood Risk
Over the years the River Mole and its tributaries have flooded, especially when the Airport and sewage treatment plants discharge water in extreme events. Climate change is making these extreme events more frequent and severe. Expansion of the Airport, and other developments locally, need to properly take this into account.

Gatwick’s overall case for expansion does not comply with the Airports National Policy Statement which requires airports (other than Heathrow) to demonstrate sufficient need to justify their expansion proposals, additional to (or different from) the need which would be met by the provision of a Northwest Runway at Heathrow.

This growth at Gatwick will have a huge adverse environmental effect on our communities and countryside. The only people to benefit will be Gatwick's shareholders.

Economic case
The economic benefits of expanding Gatwick have been overstated by the Gatwick Airport Ltd. Significant economic, social and environmental costs have been ignored and/or understated. The economic benefits of air transport growth are subject to diminishing returns. In an already highly connected economy such as the UK, additional economic benefits from further expanding air transport are largely dependent on net inbound tourism and business travel growth. Both of these are absent in the UK today (more people fly on holidays overseas and business travel has flat-lined in the UK since 2006 as set out here). When Gatwick's scheme costs, benefits, and the long-term societal risks are taken into account, the scheme’s economic case no longer stacks up and entails unreasonable levels of risk to local, national and international wellbeing. In addition, the proposed scheme by incentivising UK residents to spend more overseas, this project will cost jobs and economic activity at home, particularly in the poorest parts of the UK, contradicting the government’s levelling-up agenda.

To read Gatwick’s plans in more detail you can access the application documents on different topics easily via the document library.  If you have specific points you would like to share with us, please reply to this email. 

But most importantly, please do make sure you have your say - by the 29th October by clicking HERE.


Joining GACC: please spread the word

Please encourage your friends, family and neighbours to join GACC and help protect the interests of communities around the airport and under flight paths. Information on how to join is on our website here.

Contact GACC
Tel : 07720 397354



GACC Campaign Office
2 Glovers Gate, Glovers Road, Charlwood, Surrey.  RH6 0EP
Telephone:  01293 862821

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