Date published: 23rd October 2016
  • Gatwick’s plan offers Government certainty of delivery and growth
  • Heathrow given the green light in 2003 and 2009 but failed both times
  • Gatwick’s scheme is simpler, faster, cheaper and less impactful

The choice before the Government on airport expansion is stark: it’s either growth and certainty with Gatwick or Groundhog Day at Heathrow. 

Just in recent memory, Heathrow expansion has been given the green light twice by Government and twice it has failed:

In December 2003, transport secretary Alistair Darling published a white paper on a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow with completion expected by 2015. Challenges over noise and air pollution were identified and subsequently led to delay and division, and
Similarly, in January 2009, transport secretary Geoff Hoon announced the government had approved a third runway at Heathrow and asserted that air quality around the airport, even with expansion, would be within legal limits by 2015.

The barriers and obstacles – especially noise and air quality – to Heathrow expansion have only become harder to surmount as Heathrow’s present scheme is bigger, more complex and more impactful than any that have come before.

It doesn’t have to be Groundhog Day for the UK, however. For the first time, in independent ownership, Gatwick offers an alternative to break this cycle of failure and delay.

Gatwick expansion will result in the same number of additional passengers, the same number of long haul routes, better UK and regional connections, and the economic boost the UK needs, all at a dramatically lower environmental impact, at less than half the cost of Heathrow, and with no public subsidy.

Gatwick Chief Executive Stewart Wingate, said:

“Airport expansion has been in a holding pattern for decades. We are finally getting to the point of decision again. The choice is crystal clear - growth at Gatwick or Groundhog Day at Heathrow. There is one reason why Heathrow has repeatedly tried and failed to expand - its location. Many things have changed in this debate but Heathrow is still based at Heathrow. 

“Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. Now is the time for Britain to abandon the failed orthodoxy of the past and choose certainty. We can't afford another false start. 

“Gatwick offers an end to this debate by providing a deliverable solution for balanced economic growth across the UK. With all the economic benefits at a fraction of the impacts, it is the obvious solution.”