Heathrow cannot promise away the reality of its location


  • Expanded Heathrow will newly affect hundreds of thousands of people with noise
  • Air quality around Heathrow is already illegal and can only get worse with expansion
  • Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “After decades of uncertainty the time has come to back an option that can actually happen.” 

Gatwick Airport has responded to Heathrow’s announcement today by reasserting that Gatwick remains the only expansion plan that can actually deliver for the UK.


Gatwick will provide the same growth and the same benefits that the UK has been waiting decades for without the noise impacts of Heathrow, without breaking air quality limits, at half the cost and with no public subsidy.


Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said:


“This is a desperate last throw from a project that has repeatedly failed. Heathrow’s air quality plans, for example, fail the most basic credibility test. You can't promise no more cars with a third runway and at the same time to propose to expand the M25 and plan to spend millions on parking.


Heathrow has constantly failed the environmental tests and the public and politicians won't be fooled by yet more warm words which have been heard for decades. 


“Rather than circling around a failed solution that will never happen, we should get on with something that can actually happen - only Gatwick can deliver for the UK. Heathrow can promise many things but they cannot wish away the reality of its location. An expanded Heathrow will newly impact hundreds of thousands of people currently not affected by aircraft noise - an expanded Gatwick would impact less than 3% of this number. 


Similarly, Heathrow breaches air quality legal limits today and a third runway can only make matters worse and would consequently be unlawful. Gatwick has established a track record of complying with all legal air quality limits and would continue to comply even with a second runway.


After decades of uncertainty the time has come to back an option that can actually happen. Only Gatwick can provide the additional runway capacity and economic boost that is long overdue without the exorbitant cost, with no public subsidy, while limiting the impact on the environment. 


“Only Gatwick provides the solution that the UK needs, providing a more competitive market, leading to lower fares and better service for passengers, and fostering balanced economic growth across the UK. That’s a promise.”

About London Gatwick

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 228 destinations in 74 countries for 45 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the UK contributing £5.3 billion to national GDP and generating 85,000 jobs nationally, with around 24,000 on the wider airport campus alone. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

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