Press releases by Gatwick have been reported almost verbatim in the news recently concerning a series of ‘public exhibition events’ about their second runway. These events are not about whether or not there should be a second runway – Gatwick will present the second runway as a fait accompli. We are being invited to comment on which of three runway options is best. Our nearest venues are:
Crowborough Thurs 17 April 4pm – 7.30pm Crowborough Community Centre, TN6 1FE
East Grinstead Tues 22 April 4pm – 7.30pm Kings Centre, RH19 3LN
Edenbridge Fri 2 May 4pm – 7.30pm The Eden Centre, TN8 6BY
It’s worth bearing in mind that Gatwick’s business backers own airports all over the world. This public relations exercise has similarities to the one used by Frankfurt Airport before flight path changes to accommodate its fourth runway. The Frankfurt route changes, made with apparent acceptance of residents, caused mass protest. To quote John Stewart, Chair of Airportwatch: ‘Two and a half years after the runway opened thousands of residents still occupy the terminal each week. And the protests look like intensifying. Last month Plane Stupid Rhein –Main was set up.’
Only two weeks ago there were protests over the Nantes Airport expansion plans in France https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyZ9aDDqWfQ&list=PLYfjo3JyLy2TBtLWV_afrBLvUCVOzdOWa&feature=share.
Some of the 60,000 peaceful protestors clashed with police and the Airport was set on fire see eg: http://youtu.be/eIgNvAHIVmw The Nantes campaigners have links with those opposing the HS2 high-speed link in Britain through what is known as the Campaign against Useless Imposed Mega-Projects http://stophs2.org/news/5792-les-grands-projets-inutiles-imposes, which is pretty much what is says on the tin! See Airportwatch for details of these and other European developments.
As to the new budget -George Osborne has effectively reduced the tax on long haul flights. This may of course encourage more transatlantic flights over Tunbridge Wells, and also over Tonbridge with particular regard to the ‘big heavies’ coming in from the far east directly on to the glidepath.
Incidentally, I understand that Gatwick currently have no plans either for events or plans to publicise the announced events in our particular area-