Gatwick gains support of local residents for better use of runways
Three quarters of residents in Sussex, Surrey and Kent surveyed support Gatwick’s growth plans – with only 14 per cent opposing.
Three quarters of residents (74 per cent) in Sussex, Surrey and Kent who were surveyed support Gatwick’s plans to increase capacity by making better use of its existing runways – with only 14 per cent opposing – according to a poll by YouGov.
A similarly high proportion (67 per cent) surveyed also supported Gatwick’s plans to continue safeguarding land south of the airport – in the national interest – in case it is ever needed for a new runway to meet future long-term demand. Only 16 per cent opposed this concept.
Thirty eight per cent of those who supported Gatwick’s plans did so because of the potential increase in the airport’s contribution to the local economy (e.g. jobs, trade, investment); 32 per cent recognised the potential increase in travel connections and 27 per cent because the airport already owned the land required to increase capacity.
The polling was commissioned by Gatwick Airport to gather the views of local residents, following publication of its draft master plan in October. Gatwick’s draft plan considers how Gatwick could grow across three scenarios looking ahead to the early 2030s:
- Main runway – using new technology to increase capacity in the near term offering incremental growth through more efficient operations.
- Standby runway – potentially bringing Gatwick’s existing standby runway into routine use for departing flights, alongside its main runway, by the mid-2020s. This development would meet all international safety requirements and would be delivered without increasing the airport’s noise footprint and provide greater operational resilience.
- Additional runway -while not actively pursuing the option of building a new runway to the south of the airport – Gatwick believes it is in the national interest to continue to safeguard this land for the future.
Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport, said: “These results show that an overwhelming majority of residents in Sussex, Surrey and Kent who were surveyed both support our plans for growth and recognise how important they are in terms securing the region’s economic prosperity and new jobs for generations to come. Our draft master plan sets out our vision for the airport’s sustainable growth into the 2030s and explains how it can meet the UK’s increasing demand for air travel and global connectivity. The plan would help us to bolster the national and local economies for future generations and I encourage as many people as possible to take part in our ongoing consultation process.”