The case for a second runway at Gatwick is ‘exceptionally strong’ - according to the airport’s boss.
Gatwick Airport revealed its submission to the Airport Commission today, and said that a new runway could be built by 2025 at a cost of £5-9bn, creating 19,000 jobs for the area.
The cost would include infrastructure improvements around Crawley and Gatwick to cope with a possible 87 million passengers a year by the 2040s, up from 34.2 million currently.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport’s chief executive, said: “We will have to plan to make sure that for example the impact of the airport is manageable for those residents that are closest.
“We will look at how we can improve surface access and what contributions we have to make to make critical improvements to the road network.”
According to the submission around 50 to 100 properties would be lost in order to build the runway, and it claims that of the 18,800 possible new jobs, 10,100 would be within the expanded airport, with 8,700 indirect jobs created between 2025 and 2050.
The M23, M25 and A23 are listed as roads that may need improving if a second runway were to be built.
The Davies Commission into airport capacity in the South East will publish a shortlist of options in late 2013, and will make a final recommendation in 2015 after the next General Election.
Mr Wingate added: “We would be very surprised if we were not selected. We think we have got an exceptionally strong case.”
Last week West Sussex County Council approved a motion supporting ‘in principle’ a second runway at Gatwick.
It has a legal agreement in place with the previous owners of the airport not to build a second runway until 2019. Mr Wingate indicated that construction would take five to six years.
Mr Wingate welcomed the support of West Sussex County Council and said the authority’s ‘in principle’ support would make Gatwick the envy of Heathrow.
He thought a second runway could see the airport’s Gross Value Added to the local economy increase from £2bn at present to £4.6bn and called it ‘the right solution for the next generation’.
Mr Wingate added: “London is the best connected city in the world today because the UK’s aviation industry is one of the most competitive and innovative.
He continued: “Our job is to do what’s right for the airport and put in place the plans that are going to allow the region to thrive.”
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