In its Interim Report published in December 2013, the Government’s independent Airports Commission included London Gatwick on its shortlist of potential locations for the next runway in the UK.
Gatwick recognises that its local communities will have many questions about what a second runway at Gatwick would mean for them, and is inviting them to participate in a six week public consultation starting on 4th April 2014.
The consultation will provide further information on the three options Gatwick proposed to the Airports Commission in its initial submission last July, and will give people an opportunity to tell the airport what they think about these. People will be able to respond online via the airport website, in person at one of 16 public exhibitions, or by post.
The reason for consulting on all three options is to provide more detail on each, the reasons for Gatwick’s provisional order of preference and to obtain views and feedback to help refine and improve the options. Option 1 is a 585m runway south of the existing runway, Option 2 is 1,045m runway, also south of the existing runway, with one runway used for landings and the other used for take-offs. Option 3 is similar in layout to Option 2 but both runways would be used for landings and take-offs.
While each option has its own strengths, Gatwick’s evaluation to date has led to a provisional order of preference in its consultation document, with Option 3 being its preferred first choice.
The Airports Commission focused its assessment on this option for last December’s Interim Report but said it would, however, keep this under review.
The consultation process starts next week when a letter will be sent to homes and businesses in Sussex, Kent and Surrey with details of the consultation and the list and timings of the public exhibitions. Questions within the consultation will cover a range of topics including the major environmental, economic and social considerations. The consultation findings will be published by Ipsos MORI in an independent report by this summer.
Gatwick will provide the Airports Commission with the results of this consultation and any resulting option developments so that there may be an opportunity for them to be taken into account by the Commission before it reports to the Government in the summer of 2015.
Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: “The views of the local community are an essential element in shaping Gatwick’s second runway options. Therefore it is important we hear from as many people as possible through our consultation so that we can consider local opinions fully in our refined runway proposals.”