Gatwick remains confident that it will still be chosen for expansion despite the Airports Commission recommending the government approve a third runway at rival Heathrow.
Gatwick chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “Gatwick is still very much in the race. The Commission’s report makes clear that expansion at Gatwick is deliverable.
“It is for the Commission to make a recommendation but it is of course for the government to decide. So we now enter the most important stage of the process.
“We are confident that when the government makes their decision they will choose Gatwick as the only deliverable option.”
He claimed that the Commission “underplays the massive environmental challenges” of air quality and noise at Heathrow.
“It also cannot be right that effectively creating a monopoly at Heathrow will be better for competition than expansion at Gatwick. It goes against everything that we all know about the success of airport liberalisation in recent years,” Wingate added.
“Of course the UK needs the economic benefits of expansion. But the country cannot fly to new markets from a runway that can never be built. Expansion at Gatwick will be quicker, simpler and quieter. It will promote greater competition benefitting all passengers whilst limiting the environmental impact.
“The choice ahead is clear. Choose Gatwick and – after decades of delay – something can actually happen. Choose Heathrow and nothing will happen. It will simply be Groundhog Day.”
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