Gatwick vs Heathrow: Have your say!

To gauge airport industry opinion, International Airport Review is carrying out a snap poll to establish a preferred choice for an additional runway – Gatwick or Heathrow?

Airplane on runway

With the Airports Commission’s final report favouring a third runway at Heathrow and data regarding that decision scrutinised by Gatwick, the debate as to where expansion should take place is set to continue. To gauge airport industry opinion, International Airport Review is carrying out a snap poll to establish a preferred choice for an additional runway – Gatwick or Heathrow?

To help decide, below are a few points that Gatwick and Heathrow have highlighted in favour of their campaign.

Expansion at Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport highlight’s the importance of increasing capacity in order to maintain UK’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub. The airport believes a 3,500m third runway and expansion will solve this problem and benefit the UK economy by an estimated £211bn providing 180,000 jobs.

According to Heathrow, the airport is better positioned to deliver jobs, more exports and business because of the existing community that exists to the west of London. It states ‘120 of the UK’s top 300 company HQs are within a 15 mile radius of Heathrow, compared to just 16 within 15 miles of Gatwick.’ In addition, Heathrow highlights its 15-year vision to transform its cargo facilities and double air cargo volumes.

Existing transport infrastructure will be upgraded in order to cope with demand and connect with planned and proposed rail projects such as Crossrail, HS2 and Southern and Western Rail Access.

On environment, the airport insists a third runway will be further west than previous proposals, which means that aircraft approaching over West London will be higher in the sky. By introducing steeper angles of descent the airport will cut noise even further for surrounding communities. It believes its expansion plans are achievable within air quality limits and states it has already cut emissions by 16 percent in the past 5 years.

According Heathrow, expansion will cost £15.6bn and be privately financed. It’s estimated a surface access work around the airport will require a government contribution of £1.2bn.

Further information regarding plans for a third runway and expansion at Heathrow can be found here.

Expansion at Gatwick Airport

Gatwick has reacted strongly against the outcome of the Airports Commission Final Report pointing out in its opinion, key errors, omissions, and flaws which it believes effected the recommendation.

The airport believes London needs is two world class airports not just a new runway and insists passengers will  enjoy better service and lower fares as a result of greater competition in the industry.

According to the airport, a 3,000m second runway would cost £9bn and require no public funding. It suggests the new runway will be fully operational by 2025 and will connect Britain to as many international destinations as Heathrow.

Gatwick maintains it has good transport infrastructure in place to cope with demand and has direct rail connections to over 129 stations with this expected to increase to 175 by 2030 thanks to the planned Gatwick Gateway transport hub and rail station. The airport has also committed to improving local transport links to ensure local roads are no busier than they are today.

Gatwick believes any expansion would stay well within EU air quality limits and states the airport operates one of the cleanest aircraft fleets in Europe and is aiming for carbon neutral operations by 2040. It states ‘Gatwick’s location means that expansion is uniquely able to balance the economic growth we need with an environmental cost we can afford.’

A second runway would impact 36,000 people with noise compared to 683,000 people at Heathrow. The airport is introducing industry-leading initiatives to help minimise, mitigate and compensate any impact on local communities.

Further information regarding plans for a second runway at Gatwick can be found here.

62 responses to “Gatwick vs Heathrow: Have your say!”

  1. John Byng says:

    The Government should choose No More Runways because there is so much spare capacity at all the regional airports plus Stansted and Luton. Any new runway in the South East will take even more business away from these regional airports and so condemn even more British holiday makers to start their holidays with long car journeys to Heathrow or Gatwick. In many cases they will be passing several under utilised international airports on their way.
    One can understand the airlines wanting to save money by operating only from Heathrow or Gatwick but it does not make sense for the passengers, the economy or the environment.
    It is a pity that your poll does not have a No More Runways option.

    • P.Jones says:

      Agree!! Southern trains currently have the worst record of delays and cancellations and the substructure of the M23 and its surrounding roads is unstable. In the last two years the A23 and the M23 have had closures with flood damage causing subsidence .
      In addition the infrastructure for local transport and schools is already severely stretched by the relatively small increases required by population increase without the guaranteed increases that will be required by the employment increase needed by Gatwick expansion .Unemployment is currently extremely low hence more commuting facilities or local schools with local traffic will be needed .

  2. sdeg says:

    No one should have to live under the noise
    Pollution levels are already breached

  3. Richard Morriss says:

    Develop Manston….. The majority of locals want the work, The runway is one of the biggest in Europe and all the hard work building it is already done, The normal approach is over the sea when the prevailing wind is blowing, The HSI rail link is a short distance. All that is needed is a new spur for the HHS1 (then it would link straight in to HS2 and the rest of the country) and decent terminal building and an upgraded road to the West…

    Simple !

    • P.Jones says:

      Possible! However probably a significant % of travellers would still have to cross the Thames and London. If we need or want a hub airport , use one of the many other possibilities e.g.ex RAF fields bearing in mind that they had the take off and landing sites to accommodate less efficient but reasonably equally loaded aircraft capacity.

    • David Street says:

      I live under one of the eastern aproaches to Gatwick, Because the prevailing wind is South West, aircraft mainly fly into Gatwick from this direction. The start of the glide path is only a couple of miles away, so aircraft are quite low over my house.

  4. cagne says:

    It is sad that the aviation industry/ travel industry can use residents misery to hold such a poll which only benefits them. They give no consideration to the hell Gatwick causes already by residents travelling out of the UK to spend money overseas. Gatwick brings the least into the UK economy and yet will cost the taxpayer billions in infrastructure costs and can never be the answer for the UK only the off shore owners of Gatwick. Gatwick is not in London and will destroy what are currently thriving areas of Sussex, Surrey and Kent. London has five international airports, let people travel from local airports and stop dumping misery on one corner, overcrowded, congested, of the southeast to benefit aviation only.

    • Peter Tyrrell says:

      Gatwick management make me laugh when they say that the infra structure is there. The M25 is known for good reason as the biggest car park in the world. From the number oftimes it is shut down through traffic density. The feeder roads around gatwick are mainly two way and at peek times are just about crawling . Does gatwick include the emissions in all their figures. Noise pollution with their new flight paths, reduces the number of noise complaints.
      Agree manston with new river crossing and ring road north of London, but infra structure costs will not be paid for by this government.
      Gatwick expect council to pick up this. Destruction of local businesses with thousands of jobs. Who pays for new small factory workshops, not Gatwick.
      It is understood that most of the current owners, plan to take the money and run, after putting up rents to increase, Gatwicks compensation, have they taken that nto account in their costings. There are a lot of skilled men many involved in small export firms, they will not want to take minimum wage jobs at the air port

  5. John says:

    Gatwick has very little to offer the UK but its overseas owners have much to gain in terms of enhancing the value of the site. Gatwick, with its inadequate travel links, chiefly serves UK holidaymakers. People travelling into London from other parts of the world do not associate Gatwick as a ‘London Airport’: the only London Airport is Heathrow. If we have to spread the misery of aircraft noise and pollutution in the South East it should at least be worthwhile for our economy.

  6. Ones Enough says:

    The only road access into Gatwick is the 12 miles of the already problematical M23 starting 18 miles from the Centre of London and accessed via the already overcrowded M25.
    By rail there is one route, the already overcapacity Brighton Line that cannot be widened of use double decker trains.

    Billions of pounds will be required from the Government to widen the M23 and M25, the A24 between M25 and Horsham, the A23 all the way from central London, the A22 from M25 to East Grinstead, the A271 from Reigate to Horley. Both Crawley and East Grinstead will require ring roads.
    The only access road from the east is the meandering, single lane A264 all the way from Royal Tonbridge Wells to the A23.

    Potentially 80% of the UK would have to go by road within 5 miles of Heathrow before a further 30 miles on the M25 and M23 to get to Gatwick.
    Heathrow will have the infrastructure to get passengers into London by numerous train options and when linked to HS2 to the north.

    BUT do we really need another runway, probably NO.?
    Why not expand Stansted?

    • Dee Lynn says:

      I do not think expansion of Gatwick airport should go ahead, the transport infrastructure could not support increased passenger numbers. From personal experience of my last couple of journeys using Gatwick airport, I found it poorly run with many delays, both Heathrow and Stanstead give a much more pleasant and efficient passenger experience.

  7. Mike Laye says:

    I don’t think this poll can be considered – in any way – as fair. As you point out in the introduction, each option has been allowed to put “a few points that [they] have highlighted in favour of their campaign”, but these points go completely unchallenged. You should have presented at least a ‘for’ and an ‘against’ voice before polling.

    For instance, Gatwick (one assumes it’s them) have been allowed to ‘highlight’ the statement “A second runway would impact 36,000 people with noise compared to 683,000 people at Heathrow” when they have already been banned by the ASA from using similar comparisons in their printed ads & posters because, it was felt, they could ‘mislead the public’ .


    So, anybody could promise anything here, in order to get the votes. I suggest Heathrow should immediately amend theirs to promise “geese-with-golden-eggs for every resident”. That’s no more a fairy story than Gatwick’s “highlights”!

  8. Sue says:

    I do not believe that any airports should expand. It is a ludicrous proposition with climate change accelerating the way it is that we are even considering another runway. Clever marketing is selling the public the idea that it has to be one or the other when in fact we should be debating airport expansion versus airport contraction. Fossil fuels are finite. Once they’re gone nobody will be flying anywhere and we need to be researching other methods of propulsion rather than blindly pretending oil consumption can carry on unabated.
    This whole debate is irrelevant.

  9. Fiona says:

    We are an island and a first world country not a third world, and people should not have to suffer the misery of living under a flight path. We should build a London airport where planes land and take off over the sea, then turn Heathrow into housing.

  10. Gareth says:

    Gatwick has totally inadequate communications; is cut off from the rest of the country by the transport obsacle of London, has just a single short motorway connection that is barely adequate now and that leads to a highly congested network of small roads that take forever to reach London on, one of the worst train lines in the country with no room to expand, no future HS2 connection feasible, no Crossrail connection, and unbelivebly no Underground either, for the Capital’s mass transit system (1.2 Billion passengers a year, rising to 1.4 with Crossrail, 250 miles of track, 280 stations) finishes at Croydon almost twenty miles away. Not only will future passengers find it very difficult to get to an enlarged Gatwick, so will the huge, and of necessity London based, workforce needed to build and run the airport.
    Gatwick is a non starter in practical terms, aggressively marketed by a speculative business that hopes to get approval in order to make a massive buck, since it has already stated it will sell the airport in 2019.
    The better use of regional airports, especially since most Gatwick traffic is for holidays, and the increased efficiency of new generation larger capacity aircraft is the solution.

  11. Jean says:

    I think that Manston has potential but surely with the government’s espousing of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ (of which it would seem most northerners have not heard) our sights should be turning to Manchester or the Midlands.

  12. Jonathan says:

    Gatwick should not be allowed to expand as they can’t be trusted to organise themselves out of a paper bag. Their tinkering with the Arrivals flight path over West Kent was done with no realisation as to the consequences of their actions. Their changes resulted in the needless concentration of aircraft at low altitude which has been an unmitigated disaster for the people on the ground. Despite 25,000 complaints it took John Major’s intervention to get Gatwick to pull its finger out and review the situation with the aim of coming up with a proper solution. In no way do these chumps deserve a second runway to play with. It would be like giving a child a gun as a Christmas present.

  13. Nick says:

    The Government should choose No More Runways because there is so much spare capacity at all the regional airports plus Stansted and Luton. Any new runway in the South East will take even more business away from these regional airports and so condemn even more British holiday makers to start their holidays with long car journeys to Heathrow or Gatwick. In many cases they will be passing several under utilised international airports on their way.
    One can understand the airlines wanting to save money by operating only from Heathrow or Gatwick but it does not make sense for the passengers, the economy or the environment.
    It is a pity that your poll does not have a No More Runways option.

  14. David Buck says:

    Gatwick and Heathrow are in the wrong place and tired. Let’s build a new one in the Thames Estuary instead, and bring most flights in over the sea.

  15. D C Nastri says:

    It seems crazy to me that there is a perfectly good runway at Manston
    that would cost far less to get up to standard, the local community needs the employment, the pollution would be dispersed over the sea ( conversley if the new runway goes to Heathrow or Gatwick pollution levels will be pushed even further over the EU limit) Aircraft taking or arriving could use airspace over the sea thus reducing the annoyance of horrific noise!

  16. F Nelson says:

    Why do we need any airport expansion? The world is already suffering from the pollution caused by the current number of flights. Why not stay at home and Skype? Leave the journeys to people who have no alternative. The earth will thank you.

  17. JohnT says:

    What an appallingly trivial poll. Is this the level at thinking within the airport industry? Where is the ‘No Expansion’ button? What about the huge environmental impact of the commercial aircraft industry on the quality of life of those suffering the noise and pollution, and on climate change? Are we supposed to just ignore all this? Why should people have to endure the trashing of their lives through constant inescapable noise and sleep deprivation, with its consequent health effects to line the pockets of (foreign) investors?

  18. Simon Holden says:

    If we have to have another airport in the south-east it should be at Manston. It will bring much needed employment to relatively poor areas of Kent and Essex and its environmental impact is not as bad as Gatwick or Heathrow. Ignore the vested interests from the ‘Big Two’ and be bold and leave a meaningful legacy.

  19. Timtj says:

    As a frequent (at least once a month) business user of Gatwick, there is no way that Gatwick should be expanded further – it hardly copes with the current volume of passengers. As for the extortionately expensive Gatwick Express link to London Victoria, this never seems to run on time. If expanding London’s capacity for business travellers is the key, then another runway at Heathrow has to be the preferred option.

  20. y smith says:

    Manston gets my vote – neither Gatwick nor Heathrow have adequate transport links to support the extra traffic generated and the aircraft can approach over the sea, so no-one else has to suffer the awful noise pollution imposed on us who live under the approach flightpath to Gatwick.

  21. Ian Boulton says:

    Why not Stansted or Manston?

  22. This poll would have had greater credibility if it had been brave enough to feature an option for ‘none’

  23. MLM says:

    Northern Power house but South Eastern Airports? Spread the pain, the noise the pollution and the benefits the jobs and convenience.
    Gatwick is the least preferable. 50% of its flights are Easy Jet holiday flights taking people overseas to spend their money. Great for the economy!
    Even Easy Jet though supports Heathrow expansion. But why should we listen to the industry voices destroying peoples lives and paying no fuel duty and no VAT and with Gatwick owners no corporation tax ever paid in this country.No wonder you can fly to Malaga for the price of a train ticket from London to York.
    My summer holiday with family of 5 in car cost £380 in petrol of which £320 was tax. Airline industry gets away scott free. £10billion each year not collected. What could that be spent on?

  24. Howard says:

    The replies already posted make the relevant points very well so there is no need for me to repeat them, save to say that expansion of either Gatwick or Heathrow is impractical; they are simply in the wrong place even for their existing traffic. I am therefore absolutely against extra runways for either airport.

  25. John Barnes says:

    Absurd to put a 3rd runway at Heathrow when you are not prepared to contemplate a 4th, better to use Gatwick expansion as a cheaper interim if you cannot go straight to an estuary solution which should be the strategic choice. An accident over London would precipitate that anyway and in the current climate that does not look a far-fetched possibility.

  26. Spencer says:

    Gatwick already spreads misery across great areas of rural England with the noise of its aircraft. Its flights should be restricted, not expanded. If airports across the country were properly managed there would be no need for any more runways anywhere in the south.

  27. Andrew Moffat says:

    We should detach ourselves from what the managers/executives of the airports say, in furtherance of their narrow interests. Their allegiance is to their companies and their pockets.

    It is abundantly obvious to anyone who uses the railways that proceed through Gatwick that the infrastructure is not up to it; trains are horribly overcrowded. The roads are little better – also horribly overcrowded.

    This raises a further point, that is relevant to Stansted and Gatwick. Simply put, the countryside is a heritage for future generations. It is important to preserve our rural heritage and amenity. Comings and goings caused by road traffic and urban development are irreversible. In London, this does not matter for there is little rural countryside in the London-Heathrow area now worth preserving, much as I regret this.

    Equally pertinent is the noise pollution caused by traffic but especially by aircraft traffic. This has blighted rural areas, where there is little background noise. Many rural villages in and around Gatwick and Stansted have been ruined by aircraft noise. Windows have to be kept closed to ensure a night’s sleep.

    The selfishness and vested interests of those who run the airports should not detract from the bigger picture and the wider perspective.

  28. Sarah says:

    Gatwick’s local infrastructure – roads, rail, schools, housing – is full to bust and there are no plans and limited potential for developing it to allow for the enormous growth in demand that an expansion to the airport would generate. There would be little or no benefit to the local population of the expansion, who are already being forced to live with a dramatic recent increase in noise pollution that Gatwick has until recently denied. Travellers from outside the area don’t want to fly into or out of Gatwick – it is a local airport grown too big for its location.

  29. Peter Breen says:

    It’s a strange enigma that this highly controversial topic has been reduced to a war of words between the two major airport operators ; politicians ; local and regional governmental bodies and Joe Public .
    As in every other regulated industry , what is needed here is a proper Regulator (CAA is too one-sided and has demonstrably failed to provide any leadership or initiative in this critical arena) – Off-Air would ensure a proper balance between national and local , commercial and environmental , individual and corporate interests.

  30. Kaye says:

    Both expansion plans on the this survey will cause huge environmental damage, to rare and species-rich habitats and green spaces which are also vital especially in what are already very urban or highly-populated areas. I’d like to see more consideration and discussion about this side of the issue – the long-term impact on the natural world – as expansion (which by the way there is no real justification for at any airport) is a major decision which is not just about economics – and ‘the environment’ is not just about noise and air quality… PS: the environmental damage of a 2nd runway at Stansted is just as bad

  31. Matt Larsen-Daw says:

    I will be interested to see how the results of this poll are interpreted and presented – particularly in press releases – given that it provides no option for people who oppose airport expansion in any location.

    Expansion of air travel industry in the UK is short sighted environmentally, and therefore economically. The repercussions are wearying – more noise, more pollution, more road traffic to reach the airports, and simply more costly development of infrastructure for an industry that it is in our interests to be shrinking rather than growing as the implications of climate change become more and more apparent. This before any impact of the development itself on irreplaceable ancient woodland habitats around existing airports is factored in.

  32. Ian says:

    There is no such thing as a split hub. I travel heavily internationally, and if I were expected, when changing flights on longhaul, to spend an hour getting to or from Gatwick from the real hub (Heathrow) I would pick a different route instead through another country where I could change flights in the the same airport.
    Gatwick is a holiday airport – it would be a joke pretending it could be a hub if it were not that this would significantly damage the British Economy. Never mind that Gatwick’s owners want to make a fast buck by ineffectually stealing Heathrow’s clothes at the expense of the British Economy.

  33. Ian says:

    I would be interested to know what the poll results would be if Boris Island had been included, with the transfer of Heathrow to the Thames Estuary. They said 60billion – but that is not much different to the projected cost of HS2. The siting of the UK’s (single) hub airport is a much bigger deal than HS2. Why has Boris Island dropped off this survey?

  34. Peter says:

    ….that so many seem to accept Gatwick’s claims regarding infrastructure. I fail to understand how Gatwick will be able to handle its forecast passenger numbers without massive changes to existing road & rail infrastructure.
    The comparison is stark!

    Heathrow (current capacity 65m passengers per year) – access to M1, M3, M40,M4, A3 and major road links into central London. 3 junctions from M25. Victoria line. Heathrow Express. Heathrow Connect. Cross Rail (soon to be completed). HS2 spur to Heathrow – planned. Government pledged up to £500 million to link Bristol with Heathrow.

    Gatwick (forecast capacity 95m passengers per year) – access to M23, one junction from M25, one rail line(already at capacity).

    And this doesn’t address the need for a “new town” the size of Crawley to accommodate the estimated 60,000 new employees. Nor schools. Nor hospitals.

    Can someone please explain how Gatwick will provide this within the £9bn construction cost or will the taxpayer be saddled with tens, if not hundreds of billions of cost, drip fed over the decades to follow?

  35. Ray says:

    The Commission choose Heathrow for a reason, if the air quality can be resolved it offers more advantages than Gatwick.
    However, we always think short term in this country, larger aircraft could deal with short term growth whilst an Estuary airport can be built.
    Gatwick is confined by roads, towns and hills as well as no local workforce available! to work there!
    If vat was applied to fuel and tickets Europe- wide this would reduce usage to the betterment of our air quality.

  36. Robert Ball says:

    The sky above the area around Gatwick is already far too crowded. In the villages around Edenbridge and in this small town we suffer constant overhead noise day and night and the pollution all the planes drop on us. There is no peace any more. We do not have the infrastructure to cope with more travelers in and out of Gatwick and we certainly do not want more traffic in the area. Gatwick do not tell the truth and bend their figures in order to get what they want; this was revealed by the recent report on Gatwick or Heathrow. The advice was Heathrow!! There is no support from the local councils for this proposed expansion. Gatwick tried for this expansion in 1993, 2003 and now again in 2015. They are simply desperate to expand at the expense of those of us that live below their routes.

  37. Alan says:

    Debate on this has almost totally ignored one factor – the customer. Any spare slots at Heathrow are immediately taken. Meanwhile Gatwick has sufficient spare to expand its current operations by nearly half as much again. Gatwick slots are also cheaper. If there was any significant demand from customers they would be taking up Gatwick slots.

    Access is also an issue. The Gatwick case relies on the unlikely and unfounded assumption that they can very significantly increase the proportion of passengers using public transport, thereby lessening the very large impact on M23, M25 and local roads. The London to Brighton line is scheduled for improvement, but that improvement will be more than taken up by non-Gatwick traffic and expansion to multi-track has been dismissed. Predictions also ignore lack of local housing for staff and consequent impact on local roads and other infrastructure. Like many other aspects of the Gatwick argument it is shallow and based more on wishful thinking than anaysis and research.

    In seeking the “environmental high ground” the proponents of Gatwick have totally ignored the likely effects of increased local traffic (already a serious issue at Junction 10 of the M23), the much lower threshold of noise annoyance in rural areas etc.

    There is no point in expanding an airport which is difficult to access, which the customers obviously do not want and which the financial analysis does not support.

  38. Richard says:

    It is my view neither Heathrow nor Gatwick should be allowed to expand. The best option, in my view, would be to close both and redevelop as housing to meet the south east needs for the next 50 years, and then build a major new international state of the art airport in the Thames Estuary. Take aircraft movements away from the heavily populated south east of England, and relieve many of distressing aircraft noise.

  39. S Morris says:

    I believe that any decision made by the government “before Christmas” will amount to little more than another commission being set up to really, REALLY decide where another runway should be built. If they play their cards right this new commission can report just after the next election. We’ve seen it all before! I stand to have my home of many years demolished if Gatwick is the chosen one and I really don’t want to live in limbo for another four years.

  40. Peter Jordan says:

    We don’t need a new runway in the South East. The proposals are intended to benefit the airlines and airport owners, not the passengers.
    Only a few years ago, Gatwick announced that it had no intention of building a new runway. But as soon as the question of a new runway at Heathrow re-opened, Gatwick changed their position to “me too”. They are motivated by the fear of losing custom to Heathrow. Gatwick’s owners are motivated by the desire to sell the airport at a handsome profit with outline permission for a new runway.
    Gatwick has plenty of spare capacity, and while passenger numbers have risen, numbers of flights have remained almost static due to the more efficient use of larger planes.
    Meanwhile, Gatwick is located in a poorly-connected part of the country: the wrong side of London for most passengers, a rail link at capacity, and very poor east-west connections. Gatwick and the suurounding industrial area already causes a massive commuting problem, contributing more to air pollution than the actual flights.

    • Trevor says:

      The South needs little development to its Airport Infrastructure beyond efficient utilisation of the existing capacity and potential. A 3rd substantive UK Airport is needed for the future, but to date this alternative is only supported by the outgoing London Mayor who for obvious reasons concentrated the proposal on a southern site. The North need their equivalent of Heathrow, fit to service Northern Hub like International needs and to encourage an alternative magnet for investment beyond the London obsession. It is already too crowded and too costly in the South East, that strategic condition needs to be broken! Maybe It should be Manchester or Heathrow if there must be a binary focus.

  41. Gatwick is not the right site for expansion. It is not as well placed strategically as Heathrow and expanding it would devastate large areas of countryside at a huge cost when the advantages of expanding Heathrow (if anywhere) are obvious compared to Gatwick. If there had been a high speed rail link between the two airports built in when the M25 was built that would be different and they could have potentially operated as one unit but such a link was not made. The decision should be made by brave, farsighted politicians not those worried about future elections…..that is the wrong way to make strategic decisions.

  42. ROBIN says:

    Reopen Manston the people of East Kent are fighting to get up and running
    again after Stagecoach Ann Gloag closed it
    The third longest runway in the country waiting to be used again it makes sense!!

  43. Jon Little says:

    The fact is that the airlines*, chambers of commerce, foreign travelers, business travel groups, tour operators, regional airlines, local councils, hotel chains and small businesses all favour Heathrow. You cannot build a new runway somewhere where those who are going to use it don’t want it.

    If we built a new runway at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted all evidence suggests that Heathrow would quickly become the busiest option – it’s questionable whether the others would even attract significant traffic. Why do slots at Heathrow change hands for over £10m a pair whilst slots at Gatwick sell for less than £1m? It’s supply and demand..oh and I live under the flightpath of both airports (two homes) and I can tell you than in noisy west London Heathrow causes a lot less noise disruption than Gatwick causes in the Kent villages.
    * Yes I know BA changed their mind about Heathrow and now say they don’t support expansion but the cynic in me says that’s because they worked out that as they are already dominant in terms of ‘slots’ at Heathrow they didn’t fancy the competition..tells you all you need to know. Expand Heathrow now!

  44. Chris says:

    Gatwick is a toxic neighbour from hell which has contempt and complete disregard for those unfortunate enough to be engulfed in its 25 mile long flightpath net. Their foreign, zero contract hour encouraging, owners will promise anything to artificially raise the stock price in preparation for the well advertised forthcoming sale by its owners Global Infrastructure Partners.
    No corporation tax, no guarantee, no money back….Del Boys all the way, without the charm.

  45. Andy says:

    It is a ridiculous proposition to propose to expand any airports while there remains capacity at the existing ones… Cargo flights – for example – could be reallocated to airports that are geared towards cargo clearing, thus facilitating centrally located airports like Gatwick and Heathrow to accept a higher number of passenger flights. It is much easier to accept cargo, without the extra infrastructure that passengers demand (parking, security, welfare, etc). It is wasteful to continue sending cargo to passenger airports when extra capacity for passengers is required.

  46. Philip Turner says:

    Expanding Gatwick airport any further should NOT be an option. LGW was never intended to be a major London airport, located in the heart of the Sussex and Surrey countryside which is already disappearing fast through property development and which should be preserved as much as is humanly possible. Expanding Gatwick would only create more noise and air pollution, destroy and disrupt a large part of our environment, cause a general nuisance and aggravation to people living around LGW not to mention airline passengers already having a hard time reaching the airport from London by public transport. Gatwick – already expanded to its full capacity, should be left alone in this. Heathrow is a purpose built major London airport and if either one of these two HAS to face expansion, then it clearly should be LHR and not LGW for so many valid reasons. Gatwick can remain as a countryside airport and an alternative to London Heathrow, Stansted, Luton etc. but not, repeat not, now be the subject of further growth or expansion.

  47. N.Heesom says:

    The points for and against Heathrow and Gatwick are meaningless. They have been discounted as meaningless by the adjudication committees.

    Everyone, but everyone, agrees that Gatwick and Heathrow are both in the wrong place; but Heathrow does have the advantage that it is more accessible from the South West, West, Midlands and North than Gatwick is. Gatwick is an anachronism and should be run down so that by 2030~2050 it should no longer exist.

    With Crossrail and the current Eurostar, and given the prevailing (westerly) winds, an airport East of London is the most ecologically favourable, best connected and strategically sound choice of all. And I have no doubt that it could be financed if serious attention were given to it.

    The government kicked Maplin into the long grass; they must now be bold and give the go-ahead for plans to build the Thames Estuary airport which is undoubtedly the long-term solution.

  48. Roger W says:

    Both Gatwick and Heathrow are short term solutions as the possibilities for expansion at either is limited. We need a true hub airport where interchange between flights can take place, and fed by regional airports. The only LONGTERM solution is Boris Island.

  49. Jo says:

    I found Gatwick`s Consultation incompetent, flawed and unfair. With their failure to record properly complaints of aircraft noise and their general attitude throughout the whole proccess, I am surprised they are still being considered.

  50. J Payne says:

    Neither Heathrow or Gatwick should be expanded any further. We need a new international airport located in the Thames Estuary. This is the obvious location and would bring much needed jobs and investment to the area. More consideration needs to be given to those living under the flight paths for Heathrow and Gatwick. Gatwick’s strategy of channelling flights into a narrower flightpath and a reduced height on approach has already had a hugely detrimental effect on those unfortunate enough to live below, and a second runway would create unacceptable levels of noise. Residents beneath the Heathrow flightpath are equally effected by noise and consequent impact on quallity of life. Boris Island is the best option

  51. Peter A Johnson says:

    100 years ago navigation by pilots was done by reading a map and looking for recognizable landmarks, Towns, Cities, etc. So it became normal to fly over these places in order to establish flight paths. It seems to me that this practice has established all our flight paths in this present day and age.
    The great difference now is the huge amount of air traffic and the associated noise! Why do we need flight paths over Cities, Towns, and Landmarks when they are easily avoided with satnav navigation? and Why concentrate all the Noise and planes into narrow corridors which have increased the Noise 100 fold as we see from the complaints Gatwick has received ! Just compare 2014 with 2015. And do not think we are all fooled by the practice of only accepting one complaint per day to make the complaints list look far less ! just to justify Gatwick’s desire to deceive the government! This is showing that the bosses do not care a hoot for the people who have to suffer this intolerable noise. Tow years ago Gatwick applied for 20 super highways and were granted six, this was done without informing the public ! Suddenly Gatwick started using them and this has caused the whole noise problem.
    This could be reduced by moving the super highways and making them a lot wider. The planners have made a very bad mistake!

  52. Rob says:

    Boris Island is the way forward or similar. Why are we trying to make living in these cramped inland areas even more noisy and unpleasant.

  53. Laurie says:

    Increasing flights in and out of Gatwick would be environmentally disastrous. This is not just because of the noise and pollution from low-flying aircraft (there are already far more flights over the town centre of Tunbridge Wells than Gatwick will admit to, for example), but because the local infrastructure is quite inadequate – one already overburdened rail link, only one motorway access route and that from the overcrowded M25, and no space for extra housing, warehouses, roads etc. without destroying areas of natural beauty. Much of the area around Heathrow is already blighted and some extra development will not have much impact. The opposite is the case with Gatwick. Moreover, the apparent cheapness of the Gatwick development masks the very high expenditure that would have to be paid for (by whom?) to cover the costs of the required infrastructure.

  54. SUSAN GREEN says:




  55. Pete C says:

    The Idea of a third runway is ludicrous because the
    cargo facilities are creeking under the strain at the
    moment with outdated, obsolete equipment & 1
    loading/offloading bay with 7 trucks or so trying
    to load & offload whilst trying to keep to shedules
    it’s like trying to put the roof on a house before the
    walls, all the extra jobs they say it will create will only serve
    serve to cause even more congestion on the M4 &
    M25 & the price of accomodation will soar as all the
    extra people seek what limited accomodation there is
    It is plain to see that nobody has given any thought
    to how all the extra cargo coming in from the extra
    runway is going to be processed, including mail
    the last xmas there were queue of about 18 trucks
    having waited 3/4 hours to offload at a snails pace
    also due to Royal mail not working compatable
    staggered starting times like ground handlers do
    resulting delays.
    It’s not a new runway we need it’s people with a bit
    of common sense.

  56. Marc Ricketts says:

    Talking about Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport. Well they have been talking about for years about expanding a third runway. Now I would like to make a agreement. Now instead of having a third runway. Why not plan to expand Eurostar trains to more countries in the future? While at Gatwick Airport. They have a bit more room for manoeuvre for another runway. I think there Should be a brand new train service from Gatwick Airport to either Enfield Town or Stevenage or Hertford North via Enfield Chase and Finsbury Park. Number one: To help people get out of their cars and onto public transport. And two: To help reduce overcrowding on London Underground and other main London railway stations in the future as well. Not only that, I think London Overground and/or TFL-Rail should be connected to it in the future as well.

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