Gatwick is giving the public a chance to speak out on plans for a second runway.

Sussex residents and businesses will be sent letters inviting them to have their say on the plans from next week.

The airport is considering three possible options for expansion - all including a new 3.4km runway. 

The preferred layout would see the new located 1,045m south of the existing runway, with both runways used for take-offs and landings.

The other options include using one runway just for landings and the other just for take-offs, or building the runway 585m south of the existing runway.

The six-week consultation and public exhibitions will begin on April 4 and the responses will be used to form the airport’s applica-tion to the Airports Commission.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “The views of the local community are an essential element in shaping Gatwick’s second runway options.

“Therefore it is important we hear from as many people as possible through our consultation
so that we can consider local opinions fully in our refined runway proposals.”

A report published this week by the Aviation Environment Federation found that a new runway at Gatwick could mean an increase in airport charges from £8 to £33.60 per passenger per flight.

The rise in landing fees, aircraft parking charges etc was calculated based on an estimate from the Airports Commission that the new Gatwick runway could cost between £10 billion and £13 billion.

The report found that the rising cost at Heathrow would be from £19 to £31 per passenger.

The report’s author and chairman of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, Brendon Sewill, said: “Gatwick often claims that a new runway would be cheaper than one at Heathrow. But what they do not mention is that the cost would need to be borne by roughly half as many passengers.

“£50 extra on a return flight might well cause passengers and airlines to choose to use Stansted instead which is relatively empty.”

Meanwhile residents in Warnham have been complaining about the noise of planes during a trial of a new flight path over their homes.

Lesley Taylor, who was disturbed by aircraft noise from 6am on Sunday, said: “I’m tired of the noise, tired of our peace being shattered by the decision to run a six-month new flight path trial without any consultation with those affected by it.

"This used to be a special place to live, a place where one felt blessed to be a resident. Not any more.

“I shudder to imagine what it will be like living here in the peak holiday season if the decision becomes a permanent one.”