London Gatwick Airport has published a full response to the final report by Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission and its recommendation that a third runway at London Heathrow Airport is the best option for expanding UK airspace.
The response by London Gatwick points to what the airport believes are key errors, omissions and flaws with the Commission’s recommendation. One of the alleged key flaws in the report surrounds Sir Howard’s proposed ban on night flights at London Heathrow. This would mean fewer services if applied, but was not factored into the Airports Commission’s own traffic forecasts for the airport. Another major bugbear for the airport is the suggestion that passenger volumes at London Gatwick would reach 40 million by 2024 when the airport is scheduled to reach that figure this year.
Stewart Wingate, CEO for London Gatwick, said, “We expected a well-considered examination of all options, but instead the final report contains so many omissions and basic errors that its reliability as the basis of aviation policy must be called into question. The findings of this report simply do not add up.
“Britain is in danger of losing out once again if we repeat mistakes of the past – Heathrow has failed time and again and the Airports Commission report and the conditions placed on expansion have not solved the huge obstacles confronting it.
“In recent weeks, it has become abundantly clear that Heathrow won’t meet these conditions, nor will they pay for the £6bn (US$9.4bn) in surface access improvements needed, and Heathrow’s airlines have shown they don’t want to pay for the runway. The recommendation for Heathrow is unraveling by the day.
“I remain confident that when all the risks and benefits are properly considered, Gatwick will still represent the best option for UK airport expansion.”
To read more from the full response by London Gatwick click here.