'Gatwick Airport should not be allowed to double in size': MP speaks out

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Gatwick Airport ‘should not be allowed to double in size’ – that’s the view of Horsham MP Jeremy Quin.

He spoke out at an inquiry currently being held into proposals by the airport to convert and extend its existing ‘emergency runway’ into full-time use as a second runway.

He said that Gatwick’s expansion would have a significant impact locally including on road transport links and would put extra pressure on local services.

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Sir Jeremy said that he recognised that Gatwick played an important role in the local economy and welcomed better utilisation of the existing main runway but said the airport should not be permitted to double in size.

Horsham MP Jeremy Quin says Gatwick Airport 'should not be allowed to double in size'Horsham MP Jeremy Quin says Gatwick Airport 'should not be allowed to double in size'
Horsham MP Jeremy Quin says Gatwick Airport 'should not be allowed to double in size'

He said that the Government had determined back in 2016 that, in the national interest, runway expansion at Heathrow should be preferred over Gatwick.

“Expanding Heathrow rather than Gatwick was the right decision taken by Parliament in the national interest," he said. “I fully support Gatwick operating on its existing runway but it should not be the focus for substantial expansion.

"Any increase should be managed and controlled to ensure Gatwick’s commitments on traffic, air quality, aircraft noise and carbon emissions are met.”

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He said a substantial increase in Gatwick flights with millions of additional passengers passing through the area would have implications for the current smooth running of the airport, on the UK’s wider airport expansion strategy and on carbon emissions.

"It would also have a significant impact locally including on ground transport links - potentially impacting Horsham residents getting to their nearest A&E hospital, especially during the 14 years of construction.

"It would also put pressure on other local services and impact air quality and the residents’ experience of aircraft noise.”

A London Gatwick spokesperson said: “If approved, our growth plans will deliver £1 billion to the region’s economy every year, around 14,000 new jobs and vital new global connections.  This will benefit thousands of individuals, families and businesses across the region for generations to come.

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“Public scrutiny is a vital part of the planning process and it is important that all views are heard and considered.

"We are delighted with the strong support shown by many local people and businesses during recent hearings, including their desire to see the airport grow for the economic benefit of the area.  We would like to thank them for their ongoing support.  MPs from both sides of the House, local councillors, business groups and trade unions are also supportive.”