Gatwick fights back over extra runway

Gatwick Airport second runway proposal

Gatwick Airport wants the UK’s governing Conservative party to ignore the recommendations of the government’s Airports Commision and opt for a second run way at Gatwick.

In response to the Wednesday 1 July publication of the commission’s final report and recommendation of a third runway at Heathrow Airport, Gatwick chief executive officer, Stewart Wingate, says: “It is…for the government to decide…We are confident that when the government makes their decision they will choose Gatwick as the only deliverable option. The [commission] report underplays the massive environmental challenges of air quality and noise at Heathrow.”

Gatwick tells Air Cargo Week that with a second runway it could handle up to 1,070,000 tonnes per year by 2050. This growth is from more long haul services. Under Gatwick’s plans it would add a 65,000 square metre cargo facility on a site of up to 20 hectares in size. With airside and landside parking and storage areas, it would have access to the apron. Gatwick’s bid has gained support from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the GMB trade union.

In May, Gatwick saw cargo volumes fall by 24.3 per cent year-on-year (YOY) to 5,652 tonnes, which it says was because of Emirates operating triple daily Airbus A380 services rather than the Boeing 777 which carriers more cargo.

So far this year, Gatwick has only seen YOY growth in March, while January, April and May have all seen double digit falls.