Plans to expand Gatwick Airport by using its standby runway full-time have been condemned as “devastating” by a campaign group.
Bosses announced today proposals to massively expand the airport and create 20,000 new jobs.
But Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) says the plans show an “immediate disregard” to the local community neighbours.
In a statement the group said: “Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) has announced devastating expansion plans that will damage and blight the lives of thousands of residents surrounding the airport as well impacting on those further away living under flight paths.
“Despite claiming Gatwick is no longer pursuing an additional full runway GAL also wish to continue to blight residents living to the south of the airport with its demand to maintain the safeguarding land from any other development for anything up to 25 years.”
The statement said the plans to use the emergency runway as well as its main runway will “substantially increase the noise and health impacts” on nearby residents – particularly those living north of the airport.
The group also said the proposal will have “severe effects” on a local infrastructure it says is “already overburdened” as a result of current growth.
GACC chairman Peter Barclay said: “In a world that is fast recognising aviation’s negative impact on health through noise impacts and air pollution, together with its contribution to climate change, GAL and the aviation industry ignore these impacts and blindly steamroller their unsustainable demands forward.”