BAA
and the Government are facing fierce opposition from residents around Gatwick
after plans were revealed to almost quadruple the number of passengers at the
airport.

Two
new runways could be built at Gatwick to bring passenger numbers to 115 million
a year. Alternative proposals with a single extra runway could take the airport
to an 80 million capacity.

The
Government, which owns a golden share in the privatised BAA allowing it to
dictate expansion, was forced into the announcement after resident around
Stansted and in Kent demanded plans for Gatwick were revealed. The airport has
an agreement with the local council not to expand before 2019.