That’s the view of Rosemary French, executive director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, who shared commission chairman Sir Howard Davies’ view that the huge cost, economic disruption and environmental concerns did not make the plan for “Boris Island” viable.
“We’ve always felt that the Thames estuary airport plan was in the ‘too difficult’ box.” Ms French said. “My hope now is that the mayor can forget about his overly ambitious proposal and share our passion for an expanded Gatwick Airport creating two world class London airports.
“The need for additional capacity is now at a critical stage and I would urge the mayor to focus on Gatwick’s solution, which is deliverable and affordable, and will help London maintain its status as the best-connected city in the world.
“Gatwick is the clear choice for businesses in the Gatwick Diamond because it can be delivered quickly, at low cost and at low risk. By giving the green light for expansion, the Airports Commission will also be supporting genuine competition, greater choice and lower fares for passengers, which will go a long way in ensuring our region is a world-class place to live, work and do business.”
The plea to the Mayor of London, who is vying to be MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, an area already heavily impacted by London Heathrow, came as Ms French urged businesses surrounding Gatwick Airport to register their support for its expansion plan at www.isupportgatwickexpansion.co.uk
Gerry Thurgood, managing director of Tetreon Technologies Ltd, is one of the hundreds of Gatwick Diamond businesses who have already pledged their support to Gatwick Airport’s bid.
“Airport expansion in Britain has become a two-horse race between Gatwick and Heathrow but there is the only one option that makes sense and that’s Gatwick,” he said. “Heathrow is already heavily congested and as soon as the proposed third runway opened, it would be full. It would be a disaster for hundreds of thousands of people living under the new flight paths.
“I have customers and employees who already opt to change at Amsterdam or Dubai when flying because Heathrow is stretched to its limits. People who work in the City have also told me that they support expansion at Gatwick because it’s just as easy for them to get to Gatwick as it is to travel to Heathrow and they’ve had enough of the delays they endure flying out of and into Heathrow.
“The majority of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) I speak to also want Gatwick Airport to have a second runway and I am encouraging them to make sure their voices are heard by uniting and registering their support so Sir Howard Davies can see the benefits there would be for business in the South East if Gatwick Airport was expanded.”