Campaigners protest at start of 6-month Gatwick runway inquiry

Aviation campaign groups held a protest outside a Crawley hotel at the start of the 6-month planning inquiry to protest London Gatwick’s plans to bring the Norther Runway into more routine use. The groups were outside the Sandman Hotel as the examination process by the Planning Inspectorate started on the airport’s £2.2 billion planning application. If the planning application goes ahead, it could see an increase the airport operations to around 80m passengers per annum (from 46.6m in 2019) with over 390,000 aircraft movements p.a. (up from 280,000 in 2018/19).

CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions), Extinction Rebellion, local residents, Safe Landing – a group for climate-concerned aviation workers – and the Green Party were all represented at the protest in Crawley.

Steve Clarke from the No Airport Expansion group attended the inquiry to demand that inquiry sessions be programmed to consider the effects of emissions from the proposed expansion. There was also a need to consider the accumulative effect of carbon emissions for the whole of the UK rather than by individual airport. He also stated that the current UK planning policies for airports were outdated and not fit for purpose because they currently do not take into account the impact on the climate crisis.