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This animation sums up Gatwick's biggest advantage over Heathrow in the battle over airport expansion

Rebecca Smith
Gatwick says its new runway would impact on fewer people than Heathrow's
Gatwick says its new runway would impact on fewer people than Heathrow's (Source: Getty)

An airport expansion decision is due by the end of October and with Theresa May's cabinet committee on airport expansion meeting tomorrow, Gatwick has launched a last-ditch attempt to prove its credentials.

The airport has created animations comparing the number of people who would be flown over with a new runway and it says Heathrow impacts 70 times the population at Gatwick.

Using Googlearth, the animation considers the prospective flight paths side-by-side and shows Heathrow overflying 278,000 people compared to Gatwick flying over 3,800. It estimated population data using population data from the Office of National Statistics.

Read more: Heathrow vs. Gatwick debate: Don't expect expansion anytime soon

The flight path shown in the video is one of several new ones that would cross highly populated areas of London never flown over before, including Kensington, Notting Hill, Shepherd's Bush and Hammersmith.

Gatwick has also restated its pledge to cap the number of people most affected by noise and pay £1,000 towards their council tax, should the airport get the green light to build a new runway.

Gatwick's chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: "The difference in noise impact between the two schemes is stark. We have to decide whether to ignore the views of a million Londoners whose health will be affected by constant noise, or expand Gatwick, the environmentally responsible option where we can cap the number most affected by noise."

Read more: Scottish government backs Heathrow's third runway

Meanwhile, fifty politicians from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including Stephen Crabb and Stephen Kinnock have signed a letter to the Prime Minister encouraging her to opt for Heathrow, calling it "our gateway to the world".

The government has so far kept tight-lipped on what the decision will be, with speculation leaning towards Heathrow's third runway getting the go-ahead, though others such as Cicero executive chairman Iain Anderson have suggested May may well craft a plan of "more everywhere". A consultation is likely on "beefing up" other airports, such as Birmingham and Manchester.

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