In 2015, the Airports Commission will make its final recommendations to Government about how it believes forecast aviation capacity constraints in London and the South East should be addressed. It will provide “credible options” for additional runway capacity, including the proposal of a second runway at London Gatwick. 

A recent report commissioned by the CWS Partnership states that currently, Gatwick Airport handles around 35 million passengers per year and provides around 23,000 direct jobs and a further 8,000 indirect and induced jobs. The report estimates that of these,  around 850 Coastal West Sussex residents currently work for Gatwick Airport with an additional 600 indirect and induced jobs that benefit the Coastal West Sussex economy contributing  around £66m each year to its economy.

The introduction of a new second runway by 2025 is likely to have a significant beneficial impact on the Coastal West Sussex economy. The most ambitious forecasts are for Gatwick Airport to be able to handle 95 million passengers per year and could result in Coastal West Sussex benefitting from an additional 1,250 Gatwick related jobs, contributing around £57m more to the local economy.

Transport links to the region would also need to  improve with provision for rail capacity to be tripled by 2035, meaning better connections, more choice and lower average journey times. Proposals include trains to central London every 2.5 minutes by 2019 and new Gatwick express trains.

Additionally, Gatwick Airport has pledged £256m to support the local community if the second runway goes ahead which include:

  • £46.5m to help local authorities deliver essential community infrastructure
  • £3.75m fund to help create 2,500 new apprenticeships for local people
  •  Noise initiatives including £45m for Gatwick’s unique council tax initiative and £5m for noise insulation measures
  • Improvements to local transport links and a commitment to ensure local roads are no busier than they are today, with a £10m local highway development fund in place to meet any additional works
  • For the small number of homes that would need to be compulsorily purchased, a £131m Property Support Bond will offer homeowners 25% above market value, significantly above statutory requirements
  • A new engagement charter to help local landowners and businesses affected by Gatwick expansion.

Gatwick is one of the world’s most efficient single runway airport and has a successful flight strategy currently in place which now generates significant results and has outstripped Heathrow’s growth in the last twelve months. Traffic at the airport is up 20% in the last four years to 38 million this year. 

For further reading about the Gatwick second runway proposal: