Gatwick Airport has defended itself after a pressure group said its campaign for a second runway was ‘purely to benefit shareholders’.
Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions’s (CAGNE) comments came after airport expansion became a two-horse race between Gatwick and Heathrow.
The Airports Commission announced it had rejected proposals to build an airport in the Thames Estuary on Monday (September 1).
Sally Pavey, chair of CAGNE, said: “Heathrow and Gatwick are both owned by private companies, Gatwick being off shore, so their interest is purely to benefit shareholders.”
The proposed Thames Estuary airport was nicknamed ‘Boris Island’ after it attracted backing from Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.
Sally Pavey added: “You have to remember that Boris Johnson had the interests of London, projected growth and the UK economy.”
A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said: “Expansion with a second runway would create a £90billion boost to the UK but we are also determined to be a good neighbour and not lose sight of the concerns of those communities close to home.
“We’ve listened to local people and have created over £250 million of pledges to deliver improvements in many of the areas that matter to them most, from new jobs and housing, to business support and noise mitigation.”