Platinum Business Magazine Issue 14 - Sussex Edition

Page 44

GATWICK FIGHTS ON The battle for London’s next runway is far from over, with Gatwick calling the conclusions of the Airport Commission into question.


he ink had hardly dried on the Final Report by the Airport Commission when Gatwick Airport came out fighting with their ‘Initial response to the Airport’s Commission’s recommendation report’. In presenting the report, the Chair of the Gatwick Airport Board, Sir Roy McNulty, had strong words: “Our view has always been that the assessments on which the Commission’s conclusions are based must be thorough, balanced, fair and well evidenced. “We believe that the Commission’s report falls short of this standard in a number of very important respects. As a result, the many strengths of Gatwick and the many challenges


of Heathrow are underplayed, leading to a conclusion which we believe is flawed. “The Airports Commission has made its recommendation and it is now for the Government to decide. “We are confident that when they do make their decision they will choose Gatwick as the best option for the economy and the environment, and - most importantly - after decades of delay, the option that is actually deliverable.” SO WHAT EXACTLY WERE GATWICK’S OBJECTIONS? Gatwick Airport’s case against the Commission’s conclusions were broken up into seven sections,

which we have summarised below: TRAFFIC The Commission under-forecasts future traffic at an expanded Gatwick. For example, they forecast that Gatwick will reach passenger volumes of 40million in 2024; the airport will actually reach that level in 2015. The Commission forecasts that if Gatwick is expanded by one runway, in the first year of operations it will only generate an additional 2 million passengers, despite the fact that Gatwick grew by 2.7 million passengers last year with one single runway and limited slot availability. The Commission also states that after five years with

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