24-Jul-2013 12:55 PM

A second runway at London Gatwick is the affordable, sustainable and deliverable solution: Gatwick

UK's London Gatwick submitted (23-Jul-2013) to the Airports Commission a proposal for a second runway, positioned to the south of the current site. Gatwick said it provided a "compelling case" outlining why the next runway should be built at the London airport and believes it is the most affordable, sustainable and deliverable solution for London and for the UK. London Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said the proposal "would ensure that the UK has an airports policy which offers the additional capacity that Britain needs, improves the resilience of the airports system and, above all, can be delivered. Our evidence shows clearly that an additional runway at Gatwick would best serve the needs of all passengers, and give certainty to airlines, communities and businesses.  It would deliver the connectivity the UK needs with lower environmental impacts, whilst spreading the economic benefits. A two-runway Gatwick, as part of a constellation of three major airports surrounding London, will also provide flexibility in an industry where the only constant is change.” The airport outlined the following case for its proposal: 

  • Offers certainty: It said a second runway at Gatwick "is the best and most deliverable solution" as it can be privately financed and would not require substantial government subsidy as Heathrow or an Estuary airport would;
  • Environmental and community obstacles: Gatwick claimed the overall number of people affected by noise with a second runway at Gatwick would still be equivalent to only 5% of the people that Heathrow impacts at present. Studies show that the number of people impacted by noise at Gatwick would range from 3300 – comparable to today with a single runway – up to 11,800. It also said that it would keep within the European and national air quality standard limits with an additional runway;
  • Strategic Fit: Gatwick noted that other World Cities, including New York, Tokyo, Paris and Moscow, also operate a multi-airport or ‘constellation’ system, and handle greater numbers of passengers than cities relying on a single ‘hub’;
  • Travel trends: The airport said its proposal is "well aligned with the way passengers want to travel today and how they will want to travel in the future - with 87% of passengers starting or ending their journeys in London". It added, "The Gatwick proposal is best aligned with key future trends - including continued market share gains by Low Cost Carriers, the spread of new technology hub-busting aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, and the rapid rise of new hubs in the Middle East and Far East. It is most likely that such trends will continue to reduce the relative importance of traditional transfer traffic through London, and will confirm that a single dominant hub is not the best solution for the UK's future needs";
  • Passengers: Gatwick noted that a ‘constellation’ of airports around London would provide more convenient access for passengers than concentrating on one hub. It also noted that fares at a single dominant hub airport can be significantly higher than in a city which has a number of competing airports;
  • Connectivity: Gatwick said its expansion would deliver the additional capacity and connectivity which the UK and London need until the 2040s.  A second runway at Gatwick would provide a similar level of connectivity overall as would a third runway at Heathrow, but with additional benefits to passengers. It also claimed that a second runway at Gatwick would be built for less, would increase competition and would lead to lower fares which in turn would stimulate economic growth;
  • Local support: Gatwick has made a commitment to engage fully and openly with its local community and has already gained support in principle from West Sussex County Council, Kent County Council, the Gatwick Diamond Business, Gatwick Diamond Initiative, Coast to Capital LEP and Sussex Enterprise. [more - original PR]

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