Gatwick pledges £20m in regional support if second runway is approved

Gatwick pledges £20m in regional support if second runway is approved

Gatwick is to establish a £20 million fund to support new domestic air services in the ten years following the opening of a second runway.

The promise came within days of expansion rival Heathrow pledging to cut passenger charges to encourage more services from the UK regions.

Gatwick serves 11 destinations in the UK compared with seven at Heathrow.

Heathrow charges £29.59 per domestic departing passenger in addition to landing and parking charges, compared to Gatwick’s charge of £10.52 per domestic departing passenger.

Gatwick claims its plans for a second runway will also encourage the growth of regional airports and the development of international services outside London and the southeast.

The fund could be used to incentivise airlines to start new services and also for jointly-agreed marketing support to regional development or other tourism bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for new services.

Alongside this, the airport said it would propose and consult on changes to charges to support the growth of national and regional air services and encourage easier connections between airlines.

It would support funding applications for new public sector obligation services, and work with government to explore how to safeguard slots for new national and regional services.

Launching the fund at a presentation to Prospective Parliamentary Candidates at the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Gatwick chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “Gatwick has always been serious about encouraging the growth and development of a strong network of competing airports around the UK. This fund – and the measures we propose to support it – will improve connectivity to London for those that need it.

“Gatwick expansion is best for the UK and regions because it supports not only the growth of connectivity to London, but also more connectivity between all UK airports and international short and long haul destinations.

“Expanding Gatwick will provide more competition and choice for passengers all around the UK.”

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