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New Gatwick runway bigger than Olympics – Farrell

Words: Roger Milne
Farrell's Gatwick

A second runway at Gatwick Airport could transform the economy of the South-East, creating jobs and growth from Croydon to Brighton, Sir Terry Farrell said this week.

The architect planner, who is masterplanning the proposed new airport development, claimed its effect on the region would be greater than the impact of the Olympics on east London.
“An extra runway at Gatwick and a new transformed airport here would provide for London – from the south, Croydon and going north – a bigger economic boost than the Olympics,” said Farrell as plans for the fresh runway were unveiled this week. “It’s an area that is waiting to have this kind of input.”
According to research commissioned by Gatwick, a second runway would connect the UK to 27 more destinations than a third runway at Heathrow (442 vs 415) and cater for 11 million more passengers per year by 2050. 
Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said the south east airport could build a new runway cheaper and quicker than Heathrow. It would cost from £5bn to £9bn and could be completed by 2025, he said. A new runway at Gatwick would also displace far fewer residents than one at Heathrow and would create 19,000 jobs in retail, construction and ground handling, said Wingate.

"It is the best solution that embraces long term aviation trends."

“The next runway needs to bring the greatest economic return for the UK at the lowest environmental cost,” he said. “That makes Gatwick the obvious answer as we will be able to connect to more destinations in the future because we are the only airport to cater for all airline models. It is the best solution that embraces long term aviation trends.”
The second runway at the airport south east of London is one of three options for expanding airport capacity around London that has been shortlisted by the Davies Commission. The other two are at Heathrow.
Farrell, however, has opposed the creation of a “mega-hub airport” south west of the capital, arguing that large metropolises require a “constellation” of points of entry. This is what is seen in London’s railway stations and the airports of Tokyo, Beijing, Paris and New York.
For its part, Heathrow has dismissed Gatwick’s proposals, claiming that long-haul services cannot work there. Heathrow this week pointed to 21 cases where airlines had pulled long-haul flights from Gatwick since 2008 as evidence. But Gatwick said: “Britain’s aviation future will be dominated by short-haul flights, which Gatwick largely caters to.”
Local residents are also campaigning against expansion. Brendon Sewill, chairman of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, told The Planner: “We question the economic benefit of a second runway because there’s very little unemployment here. The first consequence of building a new runway is that we would have to import a lot of construction workers, a lot of housebuilders and a great number of people to work at the airport in related services.
“There would be economic benefit but not to the people who at present live in Surrey and Sussex.”
“The whole of this pressure for new runways at Gatwick and Heathrow is commercial pressure from the airports themselves because they want to sell the airport off with planning permission,” Sewill added. “But it makes no economic or financial or environmental sense to build a new runway while Stansted is still half full.”

Three options for Gatwick

Three alternatives for a second runway have been proposed, each of which will give Gatwick Airport a different capacity.
1. Dependent Segregated Mode
Runways too close together to operate independently, meaning they can’t be used simultaneously. One would be therefore be for arrivals only and the other for departures. Capacity: around 70 movements per hour; 60-66 million passengers per year by 2050.
2. Independent Segregated Mode
Runways far enough apart to operate independently. Capacity: around 75 movements per hour; 75-82 million passengers per year.
3. Independent Mixed Mode
Greater distance between runways means each can handle both arrivals and departures, maximising capacity at 95-100 movements per hour; 80-87 million passengers per year by 2050.