Gatwick has posted a fall in energy use and emissions in its latest Decade of Change report.
The Decade of Change tracks Gatwick’s progress on a series of environmental targets and is made in addition to the annual independent emissions monitoring, the results of which were released in July.
The airport says its annual nitrogen dioxide levels fell from 32 to 31 micrograms per cubic metre in 2014 - below the legal limit of 40. The airport’s electricity consumption meanwhile reduced by 2.2%, its water usage by 6.5% and gas consumption by almost a quarter (22%).
More passengers are now using public transport to get to the airport; a total of 43%.
Gatwick’s directly controlled carbon emissions also remained steady last year despite an 8% increase in passenger numbers. It aims to reduce these emissions by 50% by 2020.
Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate used the positive results on emissions to argue for a second runway at the airport rather than development at Heathrow. An expansion scheme that resulted in air quality limits being exceeded, or their attainment being delayed, would be in breach of EU and UK law.
“Today’s positive figures are further proof that Gatwick expansion can be delivered lawfully. Gatwick has operated within legal air quality limits for more than a decade and can guarantee that it will continue to meet these legal limits even with a second runway.
Wingate added that Gatwick had one of the cleanest aircraft fleets in Europe.