Views wanted on Gatwick second runway proposals

Gatwick Airport, control tower
Gatwick Airport, control tower

Crawley Borough Council wants to know what the town thinks about the possibility of a second runway at Gatwick.

Councillors will discuss the issue at a special meeting of the Full Council on Thursday September 26 at the Town Hall.

Before that, the council would like residents to fill in a short survey expressing their views.

Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport, serving 34 million passengers every year.

An independent body, The Airport Commission, has been set up by government to investigate the UK’s aviation needs in the future.

As part of the investigation, airports across the country have been invited to submit plans and reasons for expansion, helping the commission recommend how the government should meet the needs in the short, medium and long term.

The potential for a second runway at Gatwick Airport has been discussed for many years, and, as the 1979 planning agreement ruling no second runway should be built before 2019 draws to an end, the potential for meeting some aviation capacity needs at Gatwick are being investigated.

West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council recently commissioned research to explore the views of residents and businesses within West Sussex regarding their usage and attitudes towards air travel.

In that 1,000 residents and 621 businesses were consulted and the results can be found by searching for Attitudes to Air Travel on the West Sussex County Council website.

Now Crawley Borough Council is building on that research by asking everyone to fill in a short form on its website.

Cllr Claire Denman, Acting Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “The Aviation Commission wants us to put forward our views on expansion at Gatwick and it’s really important we do this.

“Although the final decision is with central government, comments we make or evidence we provide could have an impact on decisions they take.

“But for us, the most important thing is making the right decision for the town and fairly representing the views of the people who have elected us to speak for them.

“We can only do this if people tell us, so please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and help us represent you.”

The questionnaire can be found here. For those who do not have access to the internet, paper copies of the Gatwick consultation questionnaire are available from the Town Hall. The survey can also be easily accessed from the free computer in the Town Hall reception.

The council has asked resident to complete this before the meeting on Thursday September 26 and preferably by Monday September 22.

Gatwick Airport’s proposals to the Airports Commission can be found here