Ms Ghani, whose constituency includes Uckfield, has supported Sir Howard Davies, chair of the Airports Commission, who has written to the Transport Secretary rebutting Gatwick’s criticisms of the Airports Commission’s report.
Sir Howard refutes Gatwick’s claims on the relative economic benefits, regional conectivity, deliverability, and air and noise impacts between Gatwick and Heathrow.
Ms Ghani said: “Gatwick’s continued attempts to undermine the credibility of the airports Commission’s work do nothing to improve its poor reputation among local communities and stakeholders.
“Sir Howard Davies’ letter is a strong and entirely justified rejection of Gatwick’s arguments, and the airport would do better to focus on improving its relationship with its neighbours, such as my constituents in Wealden, who are so badly affected by night flights and theimpact of noise from its operations.”
A press release from Ms Ghani said the letter from Sir Howard Davies to Patrick McLoughlin addresses seven of Gatwick’s criticisms:
Traffic forecasts – The Airports Commission sought independent expert advice, which was unequivocal, to ensure the robustness of their forecasts.
Regional connectivity – Gatwick’s argument “misunderstands and misrepresents the Commission’s analysis”.
Economic benefits – Contrary to GAL’s assertions, the direct economic benefits of expansion at Gatwick and Heathrow are not “virtually the same”. In both the “carbon traded” and “carbon capped” forecasts, the net social benefits of a new North West runway at Heathrow are roughly two-thirds higher than those of a second runway at Gatwick.
Costs and charges – Gatwick’s argument is “entirely misguided” and does “nothing to alter the underlying commercial fundamentals of the project”.
Deliverability and financing – The Commission is confident that new capacity can be delivered at Heathrow by 2030 and that Gatwick’s comparison of the level of spend required is “over-simplistic”.
Air Quality – The Commission’s air quality analysis was carried out by leading experts and “limited weight should be placed on the suggestion that air quality represents a significant obstacle to expansion”.
Noise – Sir Howard describes as “nonsense” the suggestion that he ignored Gatwick’s lower noise impacts and reiterates that the population for whom noise levels would reduce as a result of redesigned flight paths made possible by Heathrow expansion could be “well over 200,000 people”.
• East Sussex County Council had backed the expansion of Gatwick. Wealden District Council opposed it.