New runway at Gatwick is the best option for the UK
Fact: According to the Department for Transport, London airports will be full by 2030 and Gatwick has the space, capability and the financial resources to build a new runway that would provide the needed capacity.
Gatwick is beginning a detailed study to explore option for a new runway at the airport while remaining committed to the 1979 legal agreement with our local communities for no runway to be built before 2019.
This study will be submitted to the Airport's Commission, the independent body set up by the Government to investigate London and the UK’s future airport capacity needs, chaired by Sir Howard Davies. The commission has been tasked with identifying and recommending the best solution economically, environmentally and logistically for expanding capacity in order to maintain this country’s status as an international hub for aviation.
We believe that a second runway at Gatwick would be the best option for providing the extra runway capacity that London and the UK will need. When compared with a third runway at Heathrow, we would have a significantly lower environmental impact while 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. There are also major issues of cost and the environmental impact of the proposed Estuary airport concepts.
Our plan is to evaluate various runway options and estimate their environmental, economic and other impacts and requirements. Environmental considerations will, of course, include noise impacts on local communities and the effect of emissions on air quality.
At least for the next decade Gatwick, as well as London's airports, will be relying on our existing capacity. Our study, will include a detailed evaluation of how our existing single runway capacity can be maximised to contribute to the short-term capacity needs for London and the UK. However, in the 2020s Gatwick will have expanded as much as possible with a single runway, and will be full.
In July 2012, we published our master plan where we outlined two scenarios for how Gatwick could grow beyond 2020, including with a second runway. We believe that the additional capacity and flexibility that would be provided by a new runway at Gatwick will enable the London system as a whole to provide London and the UK with efficient, convenient connectivity with the rest of the world. Since change of ownership, we have transformed the airport through our capital investment plan, revolutionised our partnerships with our airlines and developed a strong track record for delivering key routes to growth markets. We now must also look to the future when Gatwick will be full and outline our long-term role in ensuring London has an efficient and resilient airport system that creates the crucial connectivity London and the UK needs.
We believe that Gatwick is the best option for meeting these needs.
As part of our supporting evidence for a second runway at Gatwick we will be producing a series of documents, papers and responses which are published below:
New deal for London Gatwick is better for passsengers and airlines - 17 October 2012
Letter of intent from Stewart Wingate to Sir Howard Davies - 28 February 2013
Gatwick Airport - Proposed sifting criteria submission - 15 March 2013
Gatwick Airport - Demand forecast paper - 15 March 2013
Aviation connectivity and the economy paper - 18 April 2013
Aviation and climate change paper - 16 May 2013
Short and medium term options paper - 16 May 2013