LETTER: Airport burden brings no benefit

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The Airports Commission released its public consultation on Tuesday and it is now the residents turn to say NO again to Gatwick’s second runway.

Gatwick executives find time to speak at Wandsworth’s public meetings but declined many a public meeting locally.

And ensuring press, councillors, MPs and other officials do not miss out, invite them all to a Gatwick Christmas party at the V&A!

More thousands of pounds being spent by Gatwick on persuading officials to support Gatwick expansion when officials should be representing us.

There seems to be two reasons Gatwick is spending millions on trying to convince our local councillors that it is such a good idea to expand; firstly it’s like selling a house with planning permission for another house, it is worth more; and secondly it is to stop Heathrow from securing another runway so that it makes Gatwick a far better proposition for new foreign buyers.

Wandsworth, which is under the Heathrow flight path, seem happy to subject us residents to the same as they experience as Gatwick wish to be bigger than Heathrow (95m Gatwick, Heathrow 72.3m). We are told not to be nimbys but surely this is what the leader of Wandsworth is advocating supported by Gatwick officials.

LibDem Horsham district councillor Frances Haigh never mentions new flight paths off a new runway over the Horsham area which is surprising as it is a major concern for thousands of residents.

If you do the household accounts you know that if you’re outgoings are greater than your income you have a problem.

Based on the Treasury figures it is estimated that £9 billion is lost in revenue every year because of aviation subsidies as it pays no VAT or duty on fuel. Officials forecast that Gatwick in 2050 will handle around three outbound tourists for every one inbound – so more money going out of our economy through Gatwick.

Some local officials are starting to do some sums and are coming up with the fact that Gatwick could add a £100 extra to every household council tax bill. And there are no guarantees that the business rates will continue to be paid to local authorities, a new Government could change this again.

It will fall to the local authorities to fund infrastructure which will run into billions and funded by us local people, those that bought homes here because it used to be a nice place to live.

Surrey council was happy to let Gatwick move into West Sussex when the boundaries changed as they saw the airport for what it is, a burden.

Climate change; to build a new runway in the South-East – one, it might not be able to use full capacity due to climate change; and secondly regional airports would have to reduce capacity to allow Gatwick to fly both runways to the max which is what will be required to repay the £12 billion it will cost.

I suggest councillors read these two factual reports -http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/aviationclimatechange_tcm9-372504.pdf http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/wwf_regional_airports_report1.pdf

To force workers into the south and passengers to travel to Gatwick adds to the carbon footprint of each person!

Why not let them work in the north (where there is unemployment) and travel internationally from empty runways north of the M25 and in so doing reduce each person’s carbon footprint – now that would make sense if you were looking at the big picture for our future generations, unlike Cllr Haigh.

SALLY PAVEY

Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE), Mayes Lane, Warnham