Gatwick: World's Most Efficient Two-Runway Airport?
Posted on: 26/01/2015

Gatwick Airport claims that with a revamp they will be the “world’s most efficient two-runway airport”. New designs for the Sussex airport from Sir Terry Farrell, which include proposals for a second runway, are expected to significantly improve aircraft taxiing times and make airport queues a thing from the past.

Inside the terminal itself plans include self-service bag drops and electronic security gates, which will help passengers reach the boarding gate just 30 minutes after arriving at the airport, as well as reducing airline operating costs. A spokesman for the airport said: “An expanded Gatwick would be the world’s most efficient two-runway airport- flexible and responsive to meet the changing needs of passengers and airlines… The plans demonstrate how queues will be eliminated; passenger transit through the airport will be sped up.”

However, despite the proposed benefits the county council have voted against the proposal for the second runway, something which has now been supported by two Sussex MPs who regard the idea as a ‘serious mistake’.

Sir Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid Sussex, said “This is not and never has been the right place for a second runway which would have a malign impact on the local environment and infrastructure”. He highlighted that Gatwick were “£100 billion behind the Heathrow terminals in terms of national economic benefit, and there is no available labour force to staff this vast new business.”

Mr Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, has further warned about the impact that a second runway would have on the local county, stating that residents: “Should be made fully aware that local plans, which are already requiring controversial housing developments, would have to be revised if a second runway were agreed; that villages would be required to take even more housing with more loss of countryside and green spaces; and that deeply unpopular proposed major developments such as the Mayfield new town would be more likely to win approval.”

He continued - “I do not believe that significantly more housing than already planned could be allocated in West Sussex over the next two decades without fundamentally risking the rural character of much of our county and causing enormous public concern.”

With such opposition towards the proposals, the reality of Gatwick Runway Two is uncertain. Whilst it could cause mass inconvenience and a detrimental effect on the environment, it would give a substantial boost to the economy, provide thousands of jobs and improve the UK’s international links. The commission, led by businessman Sir Howard Davies, are due to issue their final report by summer 2015, and it can be presumed that protests for each side of this will be argued until this time.

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