Gatwick has gained a prominent political ally with the election of Labour candidate Sadiq Khan as mayor of London.
Like his predecessor Boris Johnson, Khan opposes expansion of Heathrow.
But unlike Johnson – who wanted see a new airport hub built in the Thames estuary – Khan, a former transport minister, openly supports a second runway at Gatwick.
In his manifesto, Khan says: “Our airports are vital to our prosperity, and as a former transport minister I understand how urgently our city’s economy needs additional aviation capacity in order to stay competitive with other major world cities.
“This must be done without further breaching the limits on pollution that are so vital to protecting our health.”
The new London mayor makes the following pledges:
• Make the case for a second runway at Gatwick, as the cheapest, greenest and most viable option presented by the Airports Commission.
• Oppose a third runway at Heathrow and, if the government chooses to pursue this option, continue to call for a new runway at Gatwick as a more viable, cheaper and easier-to-build alternative.
• Work to make better use of existing capacity, fighting to secure the upgrade of the West Anglian rail line in Network Rail’s next investment period, to improve journeys to Stansted, support housing development in north London and deliver faster journeys to Cambridge.”
The Airports Commission backed expansion of Heathrow in its recommendations published last year but the government has delayed a final decision from December until this summer.
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