Gatwick Airport announces expansion plans

Is a second runway necessary for British airspace?

Gatwick has revealed its preferred location for a second runway in order to increase airport capacity.

The plan reviewer, Davies Commission Chief executive Stewart Wingate, says that Gatwick wants to place a second runway south of the existing structure, and there is a "robust and compelling case" to go ahead -- resulting in huge economic benefits.

The scheme, if pushed forward, would be privately funded and cost between five and nine billion pounds, opening by 2025.

Critics of the project say that the second runway is unnecessary, as Stansted airport only uses half of its capacity and the purchase of larger plane models means that current airport sizes are adequate.

In addition, businesses and homes would have to be demolished to make room, and the environmental impact -- including noise and air pollution -- should not be ignored. U.K. Green Party MEP Keith Taylor belives that Gatwick is "hell bent" on bringing more flights in, and are "more than happy to gloss over the grave environmental and health implications of airport expansion."

However, Gatwick says the second runway would provide additional flexibility in the industry, and the airport would then be able to cope with at least 60 million passengers a year by 2025.

A number of options have been considered in order to improve transport links and allow airports to cope with increasing flier demand. Expanding Gatwick and Heathrow are options, as well as the construction of the Thames Estuary Airport -- otherwise known as "Boris Island," due to advocate London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Via: BBC

Image credit: Flickr

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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