CAGNE (the umbrella aviation community and environment group for Sussex, Surrey, and Kent) opposes the new runway because of the ‘environmental madness’ it will cause.
Campaigners said the additional flights would significantly worsen noise and air pollution, as well as carbon emissions.
In a statement, the organisation said: “Please be clear, this is a new runway and is bigger than is being portrayed in the Gatwick Airport propaganda, who is currently raising funds to ensure the ‘best experts’ can prove to PINS that the Gatwick plans are flawed, as found by the Airport Commission in 2015.
“It is sad to see so much one-sided propaganda being peddled by the airport, it’s like planting the smell of baking bread to make you want a loaf, but the smell is not real.
“If you register, you can stay abreast of developments, submit objections if you wish, but most importantly, it will enable you to exert pressure on your elected members to stop this environmental madness of a new runway at Gatwick Airport.
“With this new runway, Gatwick seeks over 101,000 extra flights a year (285,000 to 386,000), with 76m passengers (from 46.6m in 2019) travelling on the M23 and residential roads, and one of the worst railway lines in the country (which can’t be expanded). The bill for the new station at Gatwick Airport (which does not increase capacity of the line) was paid mostly by taxpayers – but now commuters must pay Gatwick £5 or more to use it!”
CAGNE is appointing experts to prove that Gatwick Airport’s plans are flawed, as it is better to win at the outset than to wait for a new government to make decisions on your behalf.
“We have seen other campaign groups bring judicial reviews (JR) after the decision, only to spend huge amounts of community money and fail. We will expect the local authorities to lodge a JR if PINS decides in favour of (what can only be described as) a new runway at Gatwick, as they have already written stating that the pre-examination by Gatwick was flawed, supported by local MPs.
“This new runway brings very few benefits, if any, for residents of Sussex, Surrey, and Kent. Time and time again we have seen airports promise economic benefits and jobs, but they never seem to materialise. So, with automation and higher fares for bucket-and-spade flights, we can expect to see jobs disappear when Gatwick is hit the hardest again – as history has shown with the 2008 recession, COVID, and now the cost-of-living crisis.”
London Gatwick has formally submitted plans for a £2.2bn second runway, as the airport looks to double its passenger numbers to 75 million a year.
Gatwick said the planned runway would generate 14,000 jobs and bring a £1bn annual boost to the region.