The owners of Gatwick airport have opened a consultation process regarding their plans for the Northern runway. The owners have plans to increase the number of flights from the hub, by using the runway parallel to the main runway.
They are consulting on proposals to bring the existing Northern Runway into routine use alongside the Main Runway. Departures would be shared between both runways. The Northern Runway would be used for smaller aircraft whilst all arrivals would continue to use the Main Runway.
Plans also include the development of supporting infrastructure and facilities. These include road improvements, the realignment of the existing Northern Runway, a new Pier (aircraft stands), additional parking and hotels and improvements to the existing terminal buildings.
The consultation began on 9th September 2021 and runs for 12 weeks until 11:59pm on 1 December 2021.
Whilst Gatwick is based in Surrey, the flight path extends over Kent and affects residents living in Tunbridge Wells. The Gatwick owners are so concerned as to the impact on Tunbridge Wells, they held a mobile project office at Sainsburys in Tunbridge Wells last week.
There are concerns for people living in Kent that the new runway will see a significant increase in the number of flights, bring more pollution and noise too. Gatwick counter this by saying that aircraft noise is reducing year on year and that the night time curfew will remain in place.
At a time when climate change is top of the news and travel is seen as an extravagance and a large contributor to pollution, it seems bad timing that Gatwick are looking to potentially increase the number of flights by up to 100,000. Once again, Gatwick respond to this saying that this project could take up to 10 years and so they need to begin the process now.
Opponents to the plans say that Tunbridge Wells would suffer from lowered, concentrated flightpaths 24/7, which would also affect physical and mental health as well as knocking up to 20% of the value of properties.
If you want to have your say, you can find the consultation here.