Despite having a 40 year agreement in place which bans London Gatwick Airport from building a second runway before 2019, the airport’s owners – Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) – agree that now is the time to plan for this expansion.
The work programme will now look in detail at the implications of a new runway and will cover all issues which Gatwick anticipates will be relevant. Gatwick believes that the additional capacity, flexibility and resilience that could be provided by a new runway at the airport would help to ensure that London’s airports provide the South East and the UK with the connectivity they need.
They also believe adding a second runway at Gatwick has advantages over plans for a third runway at Heathrow, a second runway at Stansted, or the Thames Estuary Airport.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport Limited, said:
“I believe a new runway at Gatwick could be affordable, practical and give passengers a greater choice of routes to key markets. A new runway will allow Gatwick to compete and grow, increasing the choice available to passengers today. We have the space, capability and access to financial resources.
“There are clear practical advantages of a new runway at Gatwick. When compared with a third runway at Heathrow, we would have a significantly lower environmental impact whilst adding significantly more capacity. Stansted is half empty today, we already have much better surface transport links and feel our business case will be much stronger. As for the Estuary airport concepts, there are major questions on affordability, environmental issues and whether they are deliverable.
“The process of evaluating the runway options will be complex. I am committed to undertaking a comprehensive and in-depth assessment that considers not only the economic benefits but also the environmental impacts. We will be consulting with our key stakeholders throughout the process.”