Gatwick growth could support 13,000 new jobs without new runway

Gatwick growth could support 13,000 new jobs without new runway

Gatwick could support an extra 13,000 new jobs by 2025 with its existing single runway if passenger numbers grow by around 20% from 43 million a year today, a new study shows.

The airport contributed £5.3 billion – or 0.3% of the UK’s GDP – and supported 85,000 jobs in 2016, according to research by Oxford Economics.

The most detailed assessment of Gatwick’s economic impact ever undertaken shows that continued growth could see its total contribution to the national economy rise to £6.5 billion – a growth rate broadly similar to that achieved in the last five years.

The report also highlights the value that international tourists arriving at the airport generate for the UK economy, estimated at an additional £6.1 billion for UK GDP and some 131,000 jobs.

The report was commissioned by the Gatwick Growth Board advisory body and also found that the airport accounted for 14% of the UK’s aviation connectivity last year, delivering productivity benefits to the UK estimated at £1.1 billion.

The Growth Board will be now be looking at the road and rail connectivity which supports Gatwick and other regional economic activity, and how the airport might work with partner organisations to make the case for future investment.

Board co-chairman Baroness Tessa Jowell said: “As a vital component of UK infrastructure, Gatwick has become a major driver of economic growth that provides tens of thousands of jobs and careers at all skill levels across the region.

“The future success of the airport will rely on its ability to recruit and train growing numbers into its growing business. “By developing its workforce further Gatwick can achieve its full potential over the coming decade.

“Gatwick must ensure it has the right skills to support its future growth and this can be achieved by building stronger relationships with schools, colleges and universities, both locally and across south London and the south coast.

“The airport is one of the south-east’s most important employers and offers an important alternative for those in the region to travelling up to London for work.”

Joint chairman Steve Norris said: “One of Gatwick’s strongest assets as an airport and centre of employment is its excellent road and rail connections north and south, into London and down to the south coast.

“Forty four per cent of passengers and nearly 40% of staff travel to and from the airport by public transport, and these numbers are rising.

“To support the growth of the airport and the businesses that it sustains, it is absolutely vital that a strong case is made for a modernised transport network that meets the needs of both Gatwick and this economically important region.”

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