West Sussex County Council and a business chief have welcomed a decision to include a second runway at Gatwick in the short list of options for expanding UK airport capacity.
The Airports Commission revealed today (Tuesday December 17) that a new runway at Gatwick is among the three short-listed options.
The three options include adding a third runway at Heathrow and lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow.
West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and Jeremy Taylor, chief executive at Gatwick Diamond Business, have welcomed the decision.
Mr Taylor said: “We are delighted to see that Sir Howard Davies has included Gatwick in the shortlist for London’s next runway.
“The work now begins to canvass support and to ensure that all the concerns raised are addressed in a logical and proven fashion.
“There is no question that there will be a lot of concerned people and businesses but I am sure that we can come to the right resolution for not just the Airport, but the region and the country.
“What we cannot do is allow the process to be hijacked by the ill-informed and the emotional.”
A spokesperson for WSCC said: “Now that we know the commission’s position the county council will strive to influence Gatwick Airport Limited, the commission and the Government in supporting the expansion at Gatwick Airport whilst having due regard to the potential environmental and infrastructure issues.
“Where possible, it will to take a lead in addressing these issues and securing benefits for the communities in the county.”
WSCC voted to support in principle the expansion of Gatwick Airport on economic grounds.
The spokesperson added: “The council supports a vibrant, growing economy and the Government’s drive for growth for the future economic prosperity of the country.
“The council, in principle, supports such a proposal as conducive to economic growth and prosperity in West Sussex, and is equally cognizant of the environmental and infrastructure issues that may arise from a future increase in airport capacity.
“There is a clear need for long-term, sustainable business growth in order to protect the local economy, and create new jobs.
“Airport expansion at Gatwick would help many companies grow and expand, as well as creating new opportunities.
“Airport expansion will not just benefit the immediate area around Gatwick, but everyone in the county.”