Gatwick Airport may be sold this week
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London airports and a new runway: Heathrow the business champion but the biggest growth is elsewhere
As the British government approaches a final decision on the construction of an additional runway in southeast England it is pertinent to look at how passenger traffic is developing at the two main airports that are in contention – Heathrow and Gatwick, and at the next two largest London area airports, Stansted and Luton.
While Luton stepped back from the runway debate (its ‘proposal’ was submitted by a third party), the management at Stansted Airport (M.A.G), having been knocked back by the Airport Commission’s report, has found renewed vigour as the scope of the objections to both Heathrow and Gatwick expansion became clear. Indeed, the suggestion that the government might decide to let airports compete, rather than itself funnel resources into one location, has inspired M.A.G. to revisit its own ambitions for Stansted.
That is assuming of course that a decision is ever reached, as, unbelievably, it has been postponed yet again while the Prime Minister, Mrs May, ensures that a Cabinet transport sub-committee that is known to be divided on the issue has a good debate about it. Then, having made a recommendation, MPs - also divided - will have another year to argue over it and - perhaps - fail to reach a consensus.
South East England runway decision – UK Prime Minister Theresa May could select a radical solution
The end really does (once again) appear to be in sight for the interminable decision on where to approve additional runway capacity in the UK, with the choice down to two proposals at London Heathrow Airport and one at London Gatwick Airport.
Much has changed since the Airports Commission first began to investigate the matter, and it is now 16 months since its final report was released. Governments have changed, new personalities have emerged, and the UK has voted to leave the European Union since then.
Politically it is a whole new ball game, and while one of the two Heathrow options remains the favourite, an entirely new solution is not out of the question.