Gatwick Airport responds to Transport Committee report on airport expansion
05 May 2016
Only Gatwick can deliver the economic benefits airport expansion would bring without the dramatic and unacceptable impacts on noise and air quality. Gatwick expansion would deliver an equal number of short haul and long haul routes and bring about greater net economic benefits
Gatwick Airport today responded to the Transport Committee Third Report 2015-16: Airport expansion in the South East.
A Gatwick spokesperson said:
“The Transport Committee’s astonishing statement that the arguments ‘for and against airport expansion have changed little in a quarter of a century’ ignores the significant change within the aviation industry following the break-up of the BAA monopoly in 2009 and the heightened focus on air quality in the UK which has repeatedly halted Heathrow’s plans in the past.
“In one key respect, however, the Committee is right to say that nothing has changed - Heathrow is still undeliverable. Fortunately, there is now a credible alternative at Gatwick that can mean Britain finally gets on with expansion of airport capacity.
“An end to decades of delay and false starts can only be achieved by giving the green light for Gatwick expansion. Gatwick is the only scheme which can actually deliver the economic benefits airport expansion would bring without the dramatic and unacceptable impacts on noise and air quality.”
The ongoing debate around airport expansion highlights the failures of the Airports Commission report to address the environmental impacts of Heathrow expansion, while drastically overstating the economic benefits. The reality is Gatwick expansion would deliver an equal number of short haul and long haul routes and bring about greater net economic benefits.
Since the Airports Commission reported, the issue of air quality has taken on even greater prominence with the emissions scandal revelations. Just last week new testing revealed all diesel cars tested had breached pollution levels by an average of five times the legal limit validating Gatwick’s call for the Government’s Air Quality plan to be urgently reviewed to reflect real world emissions levels.