Gatwick Airport has submitted new evidence to support its case for a second runway – to members of the UK Government’s Government’s Economy and Industrial Strategy (Airports) sub-Committee.
As the sub-Committee starts to consider where to expand aviation capacity in the South East, Gatwick says its new report contains substantial additional analysis – including information obtained under FOI request – that supersedes the now Airports Commission’s Final Report.
The gateways says the Commission’s final report drastically underestimated Gatwick’s growth as it said Gatwick would not serve 42 million passengers a year until 2030, or fly to 50 long haul destinations until 2050 (with a second runway) – whereas both were achieved this year – 15 and 34 years ahead of projections, respectively.
The airport says the Commission’s final report ignored new trends in aviation – as new generation aircraft are now flying further more cheaply – a trend that has seen the growth of direct long haul routes from local airports and removed the need to fly through hub airports.
The economic benefits of expanding Gatwick exceed those of either Heathrow options – as the Commission counted economic benefits brought by international transfer passengers who never set foot in the UK – or generate a penny for the economy and it says when removed from calculations, Gatwick’s economic case is the “strongest”.
The report also highlights a series of guarantees Gatwick has committed to if it expands including delivering a new runway by 2025, and introducing a cap on the number of people who would be most affected by noise.
Gatwick Airport chief executive officer, Stewart Wingate says: “It is appropriate that the Government’s Economy and Industrial Strategy sub-Committee is taking a new look at the issue of airport expansion as so much has changed since the Airports Commission’s report was published. Today’s report sets out clearly why a new runway at Gatwick can give the Government the certainty that, finally, something can happen to give the country the connectivity and economic boost it needs.
“Gatwick provides a solution to a problem that has dogged successive Governments for generations. It is a solution that can be delivered quickly, at low risk and more competitively, and signals to Europe and the world that we are determined, decisive, action-oriented and open for business.
“By backing an efficient, competitive solution that keeps costs low, Britain will indeed be laying the foundations of an economy that works for everyone.”