RUNWAY DECISION: Businesses '˜disappointed' as Government backs Heathrow
Businesses have expressed their disappointment over the Government's decision to back Heathrow over Gatwick for airport expansion.
The department for Transport announced today it was giving its support for the creation of a third runway at the London based airport instead of a second runway at Gatwick.
Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive Gatwick Diamond Business, said: “Whilst it is obviously disappointing that the preference is for Heathrow that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to see a new runway at Gatwick.
“As you know I’m a passionate supporter of Gatwick and this support is reflected in the majority of our members and by the 35 Business Organisations who recently co-signed a letter to the PM calling for Gatwick Runway 2.
“Fundamentally, I believe that a third runway at Heathrow is undeliverable. There are too many obstacles from surrounding councils and from London MPs.
“Furthermore, the conditions stated by the Davies Commission (which include no night flights and no worsening in air quality) are likely to be insurmountable.”
Mr Taylor also raised concerns about infrastructure funding on the M25 and rail lines to service Heathrow.
“By contrast, Gatwick has the land and the money ready to invest in delivering the 2nd Runway here,” he said. “There is no question that there will be some infrastructure and environmental impact from that runway, but it will be a fraction of the impact from Heathrow.”
He called for the Government to address how the ‘losing’ area will be affected.
Norwegian Air, which also supports expansion at Gatwick said it respected the Government’s decision but still planned to go-ahead with investment into Gatwick.
A spokesperson said: “Norwegian has always backed Gatwick as the right choice for the UK’s next runway but we respect the decision of the UK Government. Our plans for huge expansion at our Gatwick base and other UK airports remain unchanged and 2017 will see even more new routes, increased flights and brand new aircraft in our growing UK operation.”
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