2:58pm. Thursday 18 October 2012
Post by: Stewart Wingate, CEO
You may have seen some of the media coverage over the last couple of days covering the announcement that Gatwick is beginning a detailed study to explore options for a new runway. There has been much debate recently over airport capacity and we believe that Gatwick provides the best solution for providing the extra runway capacity that London and the UK will need.
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.
Over the last three years we have transformed the airport, invested around £650 million and have a strong track record for delivering key routes to growth markets. However, we must now look to the future when Gatwick will become full and outline its long-term role in ensuring London has an efficient and resilient airport system that creates the crucial connectivity London and the UK needs.
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 the financial resources.
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 and remain committed to the 1979 legal agreement with our local communities that no runway will be built before 2019.
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