The Airports Commission has announced today (December 17) that a second runway at Gatwick Airport is on its shortlist for airport expansion in the UK.
The commission, led by businessman Sir Howard Davies, laid out three options, including adding a third runway at Heathrow, lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow, and a new runway at Gatwick.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive officer said: “I am very pleased that the strength of London Gatwick’s case has been recognised by the Airports Commission and that the short list has been narrowed down to two main locations.
“Expansion at London Gatwick can give the country the economic benefits it needs at an environmental cost it can afford with the lower fares and greater choice that passengers want. It can be delivered more quickly and at lower cost.
“London Gatwick is also uniquely placed to help meet all the different aviation needs of the future. It is the only option which can the deliver the right type of capacity for the UK as it is the only airport serving all airlines models including both low cost and legacy airlines as well as both transfer passengers and people flying direct. I believe the critical importance of this to the aviation debate will become far more widely recognised over the coming months.
“I welcome the growing local support over the last year for our proposals. We do not take any of it for granted and we will do everything we can to engage with local people in the months ahead - including formal consultation on our proposals in the spring.
“The real debate starts now, not least on the environmental impacts and business case of each option. There is a lot of hard work ahead and intense scrutiny ahead but we are confident that by Summer 2015 there will be a wide recognition that expansion at Gatwick is the right choice for the future.”
A statement for the AC said: “The commission has not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options because there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage.
“It will undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other short-listed options.”
A final report is due by summer 2015.