The need to safeguard land around Gatwick Airport for a second runway will come under the spotlight at a meeting of a key advisory group tomorrow.

Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM) will be focusing on the issue at its annual general meeting looking at the airport's future aviation strategy.

The meeting is due to take place in the Ascot Suite of the Hilton Hotel at Gatwick's South Terminal at 2pm.

It will be open to the public.

The discussion will form part of GATCOM’s initial response to the Government’s Aviation Scoping Paper.

GATCOM chairman Dr John Godfrey called the Government paper “disappointing.”

Dr Godfrey said: “It is disappointing that other than making the best use of existing capacity and stating that meeting unconstrained demand is not an option, there is no significant discussion of longer term capacity issues in the scoping paper.”

He said: “The aviation framework should provide clear guidance on whether land needs to be safeguarded for longer term needs.

“This is critical as safeguarding affects development decisions and property blight.”

GATCOM will also hear the conclusions reached by the Government’s South East Airports Task Force.

The task force was set up to make the most of existing airport capacity in the South East.

Improvement in air quality at Gatwick will also be under discussion.

In a statement from GATCOM, the group acknowledged: “Whilst initiatives by Gatwick Airport Limited have played an important part in improving air quality around the airport, the improvement is also partly due to the fall in the number of aircraft and passengers using the airport during the past three years.”

In addition, the committee will look at problems being caused by rogue valet parking operators who, while offering secure parking at Gatwick, have been found to be leaving their customers’ cars on roads near the airport, annoying local residents, the improved performance at Gatwick in meeting customer service performance targets, and the airport management's encouragement of passengers to use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to communicate with them in ‘real time.’ GATCOM is made up of 28 appointed representatives from a wide range of interests, including local authorities, civil aviation, community and environmental groups.

Its role includes building interest, communication and understanding between the airport and its users, local residents and the business community, considering airport issues concerned with the environment, surface access, employment, the economy and the circumstances of local communities, and protecting and enhancing the interests of passengers and other users of the airport.

A Government representative is also present at the main GATCOM meetings, together with Gatwick Airport’s managing director and the senior management team.