Gatwick Airport may have second runway
Passengers seen at Gatwick Airport, which could get another runway.London’s Gatwick airport is studying options to build a second runway and intends to submit the findings to a British government under pressure to resolve England’s air capacity crisis.
A second runway cannot be built at London’s second largest airport, which moves around 34 million passengers a year through its two terminals, before 2019 under a long-standing local agreement.
However, bosses at Gatwick, owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, on Wednesday said they were now looking at the implications of building a new runway. They plan to evaluate the environmental, surface access and economic impacts of various runway options.
Heathrow operating at close to full capacity
Relevant environmental issues will include noise and air quality impacts on local communities.
London’s Heathrow hub - the capital’s busiest airport - is operating close to full capacity after Britain’s Conservative-led coalition government blocked development of a third runway when it came to power in 2010, as further expansion of the west London site would mean a huge increase in the number of planes flying directly over the capital. A commission chaired by former Financial Services Authority head Howard Davies to analyze ways to expand airport capacity in southeast England will report in the summer of 2015 after releasing an interim report next year.
“There are clear practical advantages of a new runway at Gatwick. When compared with a third runway at Heathrow, we would have a significantly lower environmental impact whilst adding significantly more capacity,” said Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate.
“The process of evaluating the runway options will be complex. I am committed to undertaking a comprehensive and in-depth assessment that considers not only the economic benefits but also the environmental impacts.”