Say NO to further expansion of Gatwick Airport


Gatwick is consulting on its proposal to develop its northern (standby or emergency) runway....

On 9th September, Gatwick airport launched a public consultation on its plans to bring its standby runway, just north of the main runway, into routine use for departing aircraft – alongside the main runway. 

To achieve this the existing runway will be widened to the north by 12 metres and the centre line will be realignedThis then complies with international safety requirements.

Due to the size of the proposal, which would increase annual passenger numbers to over 80 million and aircraft movements to 386,000, it is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.  This is a massive increase from the 2019 figures of 46.6 million passengers and 283,000 flights.

Gatwick will therefore have to apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate the altered runway. 

The current consultation, which closes on 1st December, 2021, is not the DCO application itself.  That is likely to be start in late 2022 or early 2023.

But it will be the only opportunity for the public to have a direct say on Gatwick’s expansion plans.

Gatwick hopes to get consent to start the first stages of the runway development process by 2023, starting actual building work in 2024, with the runway finished and operating by 2029.  When fully operational this project alone will allow up to 60,000 more flights per year than in 2019.

In addition Gatwick intends to operate another 43,000 annual flights by making greater use of its main runway. That does not require any planning consent.

Combined these expansion plans mean an overall increase of well over 100,000 flights per year, nearly 40% more than in 2019. 

In their consultation Gatwick have made some unverified and extravagant claims about numbers of new jobs and local economic benefit.

If Gatwick are successful, the result will be devastating. More noise, more air pollution and even greater pressure on the already overstretched road and rail infrastructure. Critically, the expansion would increase Gatwick CO2 emissions by 2.5 million tonnes annually.  By 2038 emissions from Gatwick alone would make up 5.5% of total UK national emissions. This would be contrary to government policy and make no sense at a time when the impacts of global warming are becoming all too evident.

After this consultation, Gatwick will apply to the Planning Inspectorate for a DCO. That process will take at least a year. Only people who have registered their interest would be able to submit any further comments at that stage.


It is important that as many people as possible comment on this consultation.

This is likely to be your last opportunity to do so.  The Planning Inspectorate needs to be aware of public opinion about the expansion plans.

How to submit a response to the consultation

The consultation document and information on how to respond is here:

GACC’s current draft response is on HERE

For each question we’ve prepared a summary response and a more detailed version.  We’ve also produced a short summary response to the consultation as a whole for those who don’t have time to reply to the questions individually (it is not necessary to complete the whole questionnaire). You can also avoid the questionnaire altogether and just send an email to stating that you strongly disagree with the expansion plans, and adding a few words of your own.

We’ll be updating all these responses as we receive more information and do more analysis, and we anticipate having full versions available by the end of October.  Please feel free to use any of this material in your own responses, but remember it’s always best to use your own words. 

GACC is also preparing detailed briefing documents on the key issues. These subjects are below.  In each case there will be a summary of the key issues, suggestions for key points to make, and a briefing document setting out more details.



Air Quality

Economy & Employment

Climate Change Impact

Construction Programme

Infrastructure and Congestion

Landscape & Ecology

Our message is Clear:




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

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