Published: 10:45, 18 January 2015
Tonbridge and Malling MP Sir John Stanley has called on residents opposed to a second runway at Gatwick Airport to make sure their voice is heard.
A public consultation, organised by the Airports Commission, is due to end on Tuesday, February 3.
After the General Election the commission is expected to announce its recommended additional runway from three options - two of which come from Heathrow Airport.
Sir John said: “This is the last chance saloon for all those in West Kent, and elsewhere, who are opposed to a second runway at Gatwick.
“I therefore urge all residents who are opposed to make their views known to the Airports Commission on Tuesday, February 3.”
Last Thursday the long serving MP, who will not stand for re-election, wrote to Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission.
In his letter he laid down four principle grounds for objection.
The first is the environmental impact it would have on people living in West Kent.
He argues many residents already complain of noise coming from existing aircraft and the creation of a new runway would see the number of passengers treble from just over 30 million now to 90 million by 2050.
This could reduce the value of their homes and also make tourist attractions such as Hever Castle and Penshurst Place less attractive.
He also criticises the airport for not making their financial evaluation of the project public.
This includes details of profit and loss, a cash flow statement, tax paid and the rate of return.
He goes on to say the airport has not been transparent because it has failed to disclose the real cost of infrastructure works which could lead to a blank cheque of government funding.
His final point is that Gatwick is a hugely inferior location to Heathrow.
Kent County Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Southborough Town Council have all said they intend to oppose a second runway at Gatwick.
Last Tuesday Gatwick Airport released a statement defending their proposal.
It makes reference to a report carried out by industry analyst Chris Tarry which found London’s aviation market is failing to realise its full potential.
The report says that low cost airlines will continue to grow, partly because of the emergence of low cost long haul flights.
The report, which can be viewed here, also found that the use of London as a connecting hub is going to decrease.
This is because of the increasing amount of flights coming from the Middle East.
The emergence of the middle class in Asia however will not reduce visitors to London, in fact it is believed they will increase four-fold by 2033.
Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick, said: “Gatwick expansion is the best and obvious solution to meet these trends while also offering a flexible, future-proofed scheme that can adapt to the needs of an ever changing industry.
“Not only is Gatwick the only deliverable option, it is also the only forward-looking solution that focuses on the aviation needs of the future rather than the outdated patterns of the past.”
For information on how to get involved in the consultation, click here.
More by this authorJames Walker