Latest Gatwick Airport News
Dec 1, 2021
| Updated: 09:43, 01 December 2021 More news, no ads Environmental campaigners and politicians have opposed controversial plans to increase the number of flights in and out of Gatwick. Kent Climate Action Coalition, Kent County Council (KCC) and a local MP have warned about the potential harm to the Earth's climate caused by a growth in airline activity at the airport, based near Crawley, in the next decade. Politicians are opposing plans for more flights at Gatwick Airport It comes two months after Gatwick bosses unveiled expansion plans to use its emergency runway for a greater number of routine flights by 2029. Airline bosses say the upgrades will increase yearly passenger numbers from 62million to 75million by 2038, secure 18,400 extra jobs and £1.5bilion for the area. Kent is one of the neighbouring counties to the East Sussex region. However, Maidstone County Hall says it "cannot support" the expansion while Tonbridge MP Tom Tugendhat MP has raised concerns about more noise and lack of benefits to the county's economy. Carbon emissions from aeroplanes can cause harm to the Earth's atmosphere and intensify global warming, leading to extreme weather changes and rising temperatures. Campaigning for change, Mr Tugendhat said: "I am strongly opposing this proposal by Gatwick for a second runway and will do all I can to stop it.” Tom Tugendhat is one Kent MP who opposes the plans. Picture: Parliament TV He added: "In Kent we don’t benefit from many of the economic advantages of expanding either. "Connections by road and rail are poor. There is no direct rail link between the county and the airport. Tonbridge, Edenbridge and surrounding villages are hampered by the impacts of aircraft noise." Meanwhile, a KCC spokesman said: “We continue to monitor developments, but the council cannot currently support the expansion due to concerns for the impact this would have on local communities, the environment and roads." This comes two days after The Department for Transport (DfT) announced an expansion of regional air connectivity (Nov 22). Around £1.8million has been agreed to fund domestic flights of over 200 miles from Cornwall Airport Newquay to London Gatwick from December 9. 'Domestic flights should be stopped and long haul flights must be significantly reduced...' Robert Courts, the UK government's aviation minister, said: "We’re maintaining these vital transport links, including the reinstated Newquay to London routes, for people right across the country for tourism and business travel. "The government is fully behind UK regional connectivity and strengthening these routes as we build back better from the pandemic." In response, Kent Climate Action Coalition says that the priority should be to reduce flights, rather than increasing the number of them across the UK. Steve Wilkins, of Kent Climate Action Coalition, said: "We welcome opposition to the expansion of Gatwick. Domestic flights should be stopped and long haul flights must be significantly reduced. "We hope Mr Tugendhat is successful in persuading ministers to refuse permission for the expansion of Gatwick that they have the power to do." Meanwhile, KCC opposition leader Anthony Hook (Lib Dem) warned about the growing noise and pollution from domestic air travel. He said: "We do not need to fly within the UK. We have a train service for that." Members of the public can review Gatwick's proposal in detail during the consultation period, which ends on December 1.