Date published: 31st May 2016
  • New report backs Gatwick expansion to deliver sustainable growth across the UK 
  • Expansion at Gatwick will ensure 'greater competition'
  • Report concludes Gatwick is the "only option for expansion that does not undermine regional growth"

Independent economic think tank The Channel Group has released a new report ‘Powering Up The Engines: Investing In Regional Infrastructure To Drive UK Growth’ which backs Gatwick expansion to deliver sustainable economic growth across the UK. 

The report concludes only Gatwick expansion can deliver greater competition, support regional growth, and meet the point to point demand which would directly connect the London economy to international markets.

The Channel Group, which promotes free trade and a strong UK export economy, notes that the breakup of the BAA monopoly has enabled airports like Gatwick, Stanstead and Edinburgh to offer long-haul flights that had previously been monopolised by Heathrow.

The report states:

“Expansion at Gatwick is essential to ensure competition. It is the only option for expansion that does not undermine regional growth. Gatwick can meet the point-to-point demand and keep the London economy directly connected to international markets.”

The report goes on to say:

“A new runway at Heathrow will stifle competition in the long-haul market and will undo the positive progress since the break-up of the BAA. Already levying the highest charges anywhere in the world, Heathrow could charge airlines up to £40 per passenger if expansion went ahead - over 2.5 times the maximum cost at Gatwick.”

The Competition and Markets Authority recently concluded that the benefits to consumers of the break-up and greater competition would be £870 million by 2020.

The Channel Group’s report coincides with a new Gatwick report ‘Gatwick Vision: Connecting the UK Nations and Regions to Global Growth’ which highlights the regional benefits of Gatwick expansion.