Gatwick notes the Government's announcement that it favours expansion at Heathrow.
Gatwick Chief Executive Stewart Wingate, said:
“We are disappointed as we do not believe this is the right answer for Britain. Gatwick has put forward a credible financeable and deliverable plan for expansion.
“It is a plan that can guarantee growth and guarantee certainty for Britain. We look forward to studying the full reasons behind the Government decision in detail.
“The challenges facing Heathrow have not changed. Our message today is that Gatwick stands ready to proceed when the time comes.”
London doesn’t just need a new runway. What it really needs is two world class airports.
Other truly global cities like New York, Paris, and Tokyo don’t rely on one mega hub to serve all of their air travel requirements. They spread capacity through a network of airports, giving passengers more options and more opportunities to fly - exactly what Britain needs for the future.
But it’s not just the British economy that stands to benefit from a system of two world class airports. Passengers will also enjoy better service and lower fares as a result of greater competition in the industry.
We can’t be sure what’s over the horizon, but we’re certain that it’s going to involve change. Our airport system needs to look to the future rather than the past, and have the flexibility to respond to a rapidly evolving industry.
With two world class airports working together for our country, we’ll have that flexibility and we’ll connect Britain to the future faster.
Passengers at any airport want to be able to connect easily on the ground, as well as through the air. Gatwick is already well connected by road and rail with:
- A quarter of the entire UK population – and the whole of London – live just 1 hour away
- 2.5 million people half an hour away or less
- Connections to 800 rail stations, 129 of them directly
- Its own dedicated junction on the M23 motorway
By 2030, Gatwick’s rail capacity will be tripled with double the frequency of trains – the reach of the network will be extended to serve 175 stations directly with more than 1,000 stations reached with only one change. New and longer trains will serve the Gatwick Gateway, a brand new transport hub which will also incorporate more bus and coach services and better road connections.
Gatwick is able to deliver Britain’s new runway by 2025. We believe we can deliver that runway faster and with minimal disruption to airport operations or the local area.
We just don’t face the same geographical challenges associated with Heathrow’s expansion plans, like having to build their runway over the M25; Heathrow’s improvements to transport links have been estimated by the Commission to cost £5.7 billion and much of this could be borne by the taxpayer. Gatwick’s expansion plans will cost the taxpayer nothing.
So, enough of the debate, let’s get on with it and make the right decision for Britain’s future.