Gatwick has re-emphasised its need for a second runway to help boost UK air passenger capacity post-Brexit.
The airport’s submission to the government’s call for evidence for a future aviation strategy outlines the role Gatwick will play in the future and reiterates the need for the continued safeguarding of land and airspace required for a second runway.
Gatwick says it remains “ready and willing” to build its financeable and deliverable second runway, based on available government evidence all London airports will be full by 2040.
The airport argues that it has grown rapidly in the two years since the Airports Commission submitted its final report in July 2015 recommending a third runway be built at Heathrow.
Passenger numbers at Gatwick have far outstripped the commission’s traffic forecasts.
“While Gatwick continues to grow, this will inevitably slow over time as the airport reaches full capacity,” the submission said.
“The airport urges the government to take the further necessary steps to help unlock Gatwick’s growth potential. Gatwick believes this is vital to help accelerate national and regional economic benefits and create more jobs.
“Gatwick would like to make best use of the airport’s existing facilities. It stresses the importance of improved resilience of airport operations given current capacity constraints.”
The submission added: “The future of the UK’s aviation strategy cannot be separated from the issue of Brexit and its potential impact on the aviation industry.
“Air passenger and freight businesses must be able to continue to access European markets and facilitate inbound tourism and inward investment.
“Gatwick strongly urges the government to prioritise the aviation industry, and ensure this outcome is delivered as aviation clearly has a vital part to play in the next chapter for Britain.
“Gatwick urges the Government to do everything it can to help enhance competition and choice. With future aviation strategy spanning a lifetime of 30 years, it is vital that the aviation sector is allowed to respond to market conditions and adapt its business model accordingly.
“The re-design of UK airspace must take a 50 year outlook and must be sufficiently flexible to accommodate unforeseen business needs.”
Gatwick chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “Gatwick is a national success story and the airport for the future. We are proud that we have become a vital part of the country’s national infrastructure over the last five years as we have grown. And we recognise the important part we have to play in Britain’s future.
“We believe it is important that the UK’s future aviation strategy recognises this continuing contribution to the national economy. It should allow Gatwick to continue to respond to the increasing demand from airlines and passengers for our growing network of global links. This is the best way of supporting competition and enhancing resilience.
“We are the busiest and most efficient single runway in the world but we are fast approaching capacity.
“It is essential that our current operations and our future growth is supported and enhanced by the aviation strategy. Equally our submission repeats our pledge to deliver a privately financed second runway in a sustainable way.
“Safeguarding the land and airspace arrangements required for any future expansion should be an integral part of the UK’s aviation growth strategy. We believe this is essential if we are to protect and then grow Britain’s position in the global economy.”
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