Gatwick submits evidence to redress ‘under-estimated’ growth projections

Gatwick submits evidence to redress ‘under-estimated’ growth projections

A summary of new evidence supporting Gatwick’s case for a second runway has been submitted to the government.

The new report claims to contain “substantial additional analysis” – including information obtained under freedom of information request – that supersedes last year’s final report from the Airports Commission.

The submission to the Economy and Industrial Strategy (Airports) sub-committee comes as it considers where to expand aviation capacity in the south-east.

The Airports Commission backed expansion of Heathrow, but Gatwick claims its report “drastically under-estimated” Gatwick’s growth.

The commission said Gatwick would not serve 42 million passengers a year until 2030, or fly to 50 long haul destinations until 2050, with a second runway – whereas both were achieved this year – 15 and 34 years ahead of projections, respectively.

Gatwick also argues that the commission’s ignored new trends in aviation which has seen new generation aircraft flying further more cheaply. This has triggered the growth of direct long haul routes from local airports and removed the need to fly through hub airports.

The economic benefits of expanding Gatwick exceed those of either Heathrow options – a third runway or extending one of the two existing runways at the west London airport.

The commission counted economic benefits brought by international transfer passengers who never set foot in the UK – or generate a penny for the economy. When removed from calculations, Gatwick says its economic case is the strongest.

The report also highlights a series of guarantees Gatwick has committed to if it expands, including delivering a new runway by 2025, and introducing a cap on the number of people who would be most affected by noise.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “It is appropriate that the government’s Economy and Industrial Strategy sub-committee is taking a new look at the issue of airport expansion as so much has changed since the Airports Commission’s report was published.

“Today’s report sets out clearly why a new runway at Gatwick can give the government the certainty that, finally, something can happen to give the country the connectivity and economic boost it needs.”

He added: “Gatwick provides a solution to a problem that has dogged successive governments for generations. It is a solution that can be delivered quickly, at low risk and more competitively, and signals to Europe and the world that we are determined, decisive, action-oriented and open for business.

“By backing an efficient, competitive solution that keeps costs low, Britain will indeed be laying the foundations of an economy that works for everyone.”


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