Gatwick today claimed its annual results demonstrate why the airport is the “best and only deliverable choice” over Heathrow for the UK’s next runway.
The airport achieved a pre-tax profit of £83.8 million based on turnover rising by 7.5% to £638 million as it recorded its busiest ever year.
Passengers using the airport in the year to March 31 rose by 2.8 million or 7.8% to 38.7 million, close to its annual capacity of 40 million.
The period included one day in August of 906 air traffic movements – a world record for a single-runway airport, achieved by increased operational efficiency.
Chief executive, Stewart Wingate, claimed that the results show why support has grown rapidly for Gatwick where a new runway can be delivered quicker, cheaper, more simply and at a “fraction of the overwhelming environmental costs” that face Heathrow.
“As a recommendation draws near from the Airports Commission on where the UK’s next runway should be built, our record growth has shown why Gatwick remains the best choice,” he said.
“Gatwick expansion will deliver more passengers to more destinations and provide the economic boost the UK needs at a fraction of the environmental impact of Heathrow.
“Our results are the latest illustration of the momentum gathering behind Gatwick’s case.
“We have seen a great response from our passengers to new Norwegian long haul services to the USA which has resulted in impressive growth for these new routes.
“The choice and value offered to our passengers is set to further increase next year as we add low cost long haul travel to Canada with Westjet.
“The time is right for a decision on expansion. Gatwick is fast approaching capacity with almost 40 million passengers travelling with us this year, which puts us a decade ahead of Department of Transport predictions.
“Our plan requires no taxpayer funding, can be delivered quickly, and would enhance competition – the UK will benefit from a strong network of competing airports which will keep fares low while boosting service and innovation.”
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