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Air Traffic

In November 2023 the parish council's Air Traffic committee responded to Gatwick Airport's most recent application to develop its emergency runway for full use. Please note that the deadline for comments has now passed and the update below is for information only. 

An update from the Air Traffic Committee - Gatwick Airport 2nd runway proposal

7th November 23

You may already be aware that Gatwick Airport is proposing to expand its current facilities and, in essence, plans to bring its northern runway — currently acting as a taxiway only when the main runway is out of use — into routine use (read more at Northern Runway Plans | London Gatwick Airport).

What does this mean and why does it affect us all?

We believe that the expansion will in effect exacerbate a situation which is already unsustainable. In fact, the current flight path arrangements heavily affect our whole parish both during the day and at night time. So there could be even more serious consequences for our community if Gatwick's plans for the future are allowed to reach fruition. To clarify, forecasts predict that Gatwick Airport will be serving 75 million passengers by the end of 2030. This will mean that our parish will be forever changed by the creation of a motorway in the sky.

Furthermore, we believe it is important to underline that only in June 2023, the Climate Change Committee advised the UK government that no airport expansion should go ahead as it will inevitably impact the government’s commitment to ensure the UK reduces its greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050. Over 53% of Wealden District falls within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – a landscape of national importance that was designated as an AONB in 1983. Speldhurst Parish is at the heart of this AONB and our communities retain the highest percentage of ancient woodland and some of the darkest night skies across the British Isles. Again, should Gatwick’s plan be allowed to succeed, the complex tapestry of our natural environment will be further degraded by the increase of noise and air pollution.

What is Speldhurst Parish Council doing to address the issue and how can I help?

With approval from Full Council, the parish council's Air Traffic Committee has submitted a response to the Planning Inspectorate opposing Gatwick's plans on behalf of our parish (see the PDF document below). With this update, we invite you to do the same and help us make our voices heard. The deadline for responses has been extended until 11.59pm on 19th November; so, to help us protect our community please register and comment at:

Gatwick Airport Northern Runway | National Infrastructure Planning (

If you are unable to complete a registration form online and would like to register your interest, please call the helpline on: 0303 444 5000 to request a paper form.

Many thanks in advance for your invaluable support.