Birmingham Airport has declared its support for the expansion of Gatwick Airport as the UK government decision draws ever closer.
A call is set to be made over the summer by UK Primer Minister David Cameron on whether Gatwick’s gets a second runway or Heathrow a third runway.
Birmingham Airport chief executive officer (CEO), Paul Kehoe (pictured right) says a new Gatwick runway, when compared to the Heathrow option, would lead to “greater competition and choice across the UK’s long-haul airports, allowing Birmingham Airport to continue to grow and fire the Midlands Engine”.
Kehoe adds: “The decision on where the South East’s next runway should be built is of national significance. It not only affects London but passengers and businesses across the UK as well.
“Of the two options before the Government, we support Gatwick’s expansion plan because it will foster greater competition among airports and allow other UK long-haul airports to continue to compete and grow their own direct services. Heathrow’s plan could constrain this growth with the direct international connections that airports like Birmingham have fought for being lost to west London.
“A decision for Heathrow would simply mean a return to the monopoly of the past, reducing choice, increasing fares and threatening the business of Birmingham and other UK airports.”
Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate (pictured middle) says expanding Gatwick will enhance competition between UK airports, providing a low-cost alternative that serves the London and South-East market, but doesn’t cannibalise future growth from regional airports
“For the UK to achieve truly balanced economic growth, aviation policy must nurture growth in direct flights from airports such as Birmingham, instead of using taxpayers’ money to concentrate our global connections in West London.
“Gatwick expansion is also the most deliverable option – it is a cheaper, faster and simpler scheme that will maximise the UK’s connectivity sooner, at lower cost for users. We must choose the option that best meets the needs of the future and can continue to encourage this growth and that is Gatwick,” he adds.