London Gatwick Airport in the UK, has reported that it is considering the construction of a new runway, and is presently weighing up the advantages of doing so over other airport expansion options.
The airport is considering construction of the new runway, while acknowledging a legal agreement with West Sussex County Council, which prevents any new runway being constructed at the site before 2019.
The airport is preparing a report, which will be submitted to the Independent Commission on Aviation Connectivity, chaired by Sir Howard Davies.
Stewart Wingate, the chief executive of Gatwick Airport, said, ‘Over the last three years we have transformed the airport, invested around GBP650 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 access to financial resources.
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.
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.’