Council urges expansion at Gatwick & development at the Cliffe site.  

Council leader Edward Lister said, "By including Gatwick it becomes clear that the forecast growth in air traffic can be met without further expansion at Heathrow. The council still believes that the North Kent option of Cliffe has been consistently underrated. We are also disappointed that, despite our call for it be included, the Marinair Thames Estuary airport proposal has still not made it onto the list.

"Gatwick transforms the picture. Neither ministers nor the aviation industry can now say there is no alternative to Heathrow."

This is following the relaunch of the consultation of the Government's plans for new runways in the South East in which the economic benefits of expanding Gatwick are outlined .

The West Sussex airport was originally excluded from the South East Regional Air Services study (SERAS). This decision was overturned by the High Court in November. Wandsworth Council which is firmly opposed to any further expansion of Heathrow had backed the calls for Gatwick to be included in the options.

The latest consultation documents show that adding Gatwick to the list of options produces a substantial increase in direct economic benefits. Although the combination of one extra runway at Heathrow and two extra at Gatwick provides the biggest net benefits (£18.3 billion) according
to the Government's figures, this is closely followed by the option of two extra runways at Gatwick and one at Stansted (£16.9 billion).

If the environmental costs of each option were included the net benefits for Heathrow would be much reduced. The report says that expansion at Gatwick could create between 10,000
and 27,000 extra jobs by 2015.

The studies also show that an additional runway sited close to the existing one would not lead to an increase in the numbers of people affected by noise. Damage to air quality would be considerably lower than at Heathrow.

You can obtain copies of the new consultation documents on or
by calling the Department of transport on 0845 100 5554.
Consultation ends on June 30.

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10th March 2003


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