PEOPLE are urged to have their say on the last day of consultation over a second runway at Gatwick.
The country’s second-largest airport announced the plans last August and has since made amendments that provide a “more intuitive” road layout and fewer car parking spaces to promote more sustainable travel.
Proposals have "evolved" since the last consultation in relation to the airfield, hotels, offices, water management, carbon and noise.
The exisiting emergency runway, known as the north runway, would become the second full-time runway.
Countryside charity Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE) Sussex branch raised concerns about increased flights over towns and villages, increased congestion, poorer air quality and more pressure on schools and hospitals in the area.
Director for CPRE Sussex Brian Kilkelly said: “Any expansion of Gatwick Airport will lead to increased aircraft noise, light pollution, use of damaging fossil fuels and congestion as workers, freight, and holidaymakers alike travel to and from the airport.
“Last year, world leaders gathered at COP22 and vowed to work together to help fight climate change.
“Yet this proposed expansion would encourage more people to fly, worsening the problems already facing the UK as a whole, including achieving climate change targets and addressing the economic imbalance between the South East and the rest of England.”
In 2018, the charity has declared a "state of emergency" after plans were announced for a second runway and potentially a third.
The airport says plans for the north runway would create 18,400 jobs, but CPRE Sussex has concerns over the need for new housing as a result.
Gatwick became the “first carbon neutral London airport” in 2017 by using 100 per cent renewable electricity and gold standard carbon credits to offset ground fuel emissions.
A carbon credit is a kind of permit that represents one tonne of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere.
Companies can purchase them from certified climate action projects such as Gold Standard, which uses renewable energy to offset these emissions.
The airport’s consultation document says “to a large extent, emissions from aircraft are outside our control but Gatwick has strongly supported the government’s commitment to net zero aviation”.
The document added that responses to its autumn 2021 proposal “included concerns that our plans for growth at Gatwick were inconsistent with a net zero future”.
A Gatwick spokeswoman said: “We understand that alongside the benefits of bringing our existing northern runway into routine use, including 18,000 new jobs, some local residents have concerns about its environmental impacts and congestion.
“As part of our proposals, we have taken steps to mitigate these concerns, including proposing a cap on aircraft noise, with the noise limit tightened further as flight numbers grow. This would incentivise airlines to increase the number of quieter aircraft they use at Gatwick.
"We are also proposing to improve three major local road junctions to support our northern runway plans, minimising the impacts of additional passengers on local residents and road users, and providing extra capacity for non-airport traffic.
“As an airport, we also remain committed to playing our part in the UK aviation and ground transportation transition to net zero carbon, and to implementing Sustainable Aviation’s decarbonisation roadmap and interim goals.”
The online consultation document can be found on Gatwick’s website and ends at midnight tonight.