Gatwick Airport’s climate claims are hugely misleading

Cllr Jonathan Essex and Surrey Green Party submitted a response to Gatwick  Airport’s Master Plan consultation, which closed yesterday.

The Master Plan which includes a proposal to convert Gatwick’s Emergency Runway into a fully active second runway, with a possible 80,000 additional flights a year – and to safeguard land for a brand new runway to the south of the airport.

The plans are based on three highly misleading claims:

  • Gatwick is wrong to claim that it is carbon neutral.
  • The increase in carbon emissions due to extra flights at the airport are massively understated.
  • Potential increases in efficiency will not offset the impact of runway expansion.

Jonathan Essex said: “By excluding the carbon emissions of flights (only take-offs and landings are counted) and surface access for passengers and freight, the airport underestimates carbon emissions by some 55 times, compared with calculations completed by the government’s Airports Commission. The scale of the Airport’s understatement of its climate impact is scandalous – and this alone should render this consultation null and void.”

In addition, the Master Plan glosses over the air pollution, noise and other impacts that an additional runway will cause. Cllr Essex said: “If we can’t trust Gatwick Airport to be truthful on its biggest impact, do its other claims stack up too?”

Our response also argued that concentrating economic development in the south-east will perpetuate inequality between regions and exacerbate pressures for new infrastructure and homes where they are least needed.  He said: “This is not a sustainable plan for the immediate area around Gatwick Airport, or for the South East of England, or for that matter for the UK as a whole”.

Gatwick Master Plan: https://www.gatwickairport.com/masterplan2018?fbclid=IwAR3w9WZHzjkWNaSJNBveHu0I56B–Yi-bhdJeaaJP61LWRS3Oxt1PvfrLRo

Read the Surrey Green Party response at: http://www.eastsurreygp.org.uk/downloads/surrey-green-party-response-to-gatwick-master-plan-2018-consultation.pdf

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