The proximity of Heathrow and Gatwick airports is recognised as very important for Surrey's economy and prosperity. Because of this there is a need to engage proactively with Government and other stakeholders on future airport capacity to ensure a preferential outcome for the county.
The congestion programme and rail strategy both highlight surface access to the airports as a key transport issue for the county. Future growth at either or both airports or any major expansion elsewhere would have significant economic and transport implications for Surrey.
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Government decision on Heathrow third runway
Both Heathrow and Gatwick airports make vital contributions to the continuing success of Surrey's economy. We welcome the Government's decision on airport expansion as an important step towards ending the uncertainty for residents and businesses. The Government has designated a national airport policy statement on aviation, which still provides the legal basis for expansion at Heathrow after a final ruling from the Supreme Court in 2020.
Our primary focus continues to be on the need for investment in infrastructure to precede any development on effective mitigation of the detrimental effects of expansion on Surrey residents and local businesses - especially increased traffic congestion, noise and air quality. We will work with Government, the airport and others to address these issues and seek to ensure that all necessary measures are fully funded.
On surface access, we need extra capacity on both the M25 and local roads, better bus links and most importantly – as identified by the Airports Commission – improved rail access from the south. It is important that the Government now takes the lead on a clear framework to deliver the transport infrastructure to accommodate expansion. In particular, funding for a Southern Rail Access scheme and other measures must be fully committed whether it comes from Government, the airport promoter or other agencies.
Responses to consultations
Airports National Policy Statement
Surrey County Council's response to the consultation on the Revised Draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) (December 2017) is available to download below.
For reference the Council's response to the Draft Airports NPS (May 2017) is also available to download.
Surrey County Council's response to the Airports Commission's assessment (November 2014) of proposals for a second runway at Gatwick Airport and a third runway or extended runway at Heathrow, is available to download below.
Heathrow expansion and airspace change
Consultation one - airport expansion and airspace change March 2018
Surrey County Council's response to Heathrow's first stage of expansion consultation is available to download below. The consultation covered expansion on the ground and the principles for the design of airspace.
Airspace and future operations consultation March 2019
Surrey County Council's response to this consultation is available to download below. The consultation dealt with the next stage of engagement relating to the redesign of the airspace around Heathrow and also looked at how a three-runway airport could operate in the future.
Airport expansion preferred options consultation June 2019
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to view Surrey County Council's response to this consultation. The consultation set out Heathrow's proposals for the future layout of the airport, including the new runway and other airport infrastructure such as terminals and road access.
Economic impacts study
A study has been undertaken of the economic and employment implications for Surrey of potential additional runway capacity options. A copy of this study is available to download below.
Southern Rail access to Heathrow
The Council recently commissioned a high-level study on southern rail access to Heathrow. This examined work already completed by Network Rail and looked at other options which provide a southern rail link. The study seeks to understand what scheme(s) deliver the optimum solution for Surrey and should be supported. A copy of the study is available to download below.
Surface access to airports
A study was undertaken in 2013 to examine the transport infrastructure improvements needed to address both existing surface access issues to the airports and the improvements needed to regional and local links in the event of additional runway capacity at Heathrow and/or Gatwick. A copy of this study is available to download below.
Files available to download
- Heathrow Airspace Response March 2018 (PDF)
Surrey County Council’s comments on key design principles that Heathrow could use to redesign airspace for a three runway airport
- Heathrow Airspace and Operations Consultations March 2019 Response (PDF)
Surrey County Council's response to the airspace change proposals for an expanded Heathrow.