The Gatwick Diamond Initiative (GDI) is backing Gatwick Airport’s controversial new expansion plan.
The economic partnership said the airport is at the heart of the Gatwick Diamond’s £24bn economy, playing a ‘key role in connecting local suppliers with their customers and in creating jobs by attracting both foreign and UK inward investment’.
Welcoming the news, Rosemary French OBE, Executive Director of the GDI said: “The phenomenal growth of Gatwick from 33 million passengers in 2010 to over 45 million in 2018, means that it is imperative that the airport plans for its future. This Masterplan is also a masterstroke because in one idea, it has identified a low-cost, safe, sustainable and fast solution to meet its growth needs.
“This important proposal means that our area could benefit from a much-needed second runway in just a few years, possibly even before the third runway is built at Heathrow. Time is of the essence, as connectivity with existing and new export and visitor markets is vital as we seek to protect and improve the prosperity of local businesses and people in a post-Brexit world. We believe that utilising the existing standby runway is a fast, efficient and cost-effective option and the environmental implications are minimised.”
A statement from the GDI said: “As a prime transport hub, Gatwick Airport carries c20 million business, commuter and visitor rail passengers annually.
“Bearing this in mind, the Gatwick Diamond Initiative is also encouraging Gatwick Airport to work with partners to ensure its new Masterplan includes investment in the area’s road transport infrastructure to support its growth.
“The economic partnership also supports the safeguarding of the land south of Gatwick for future posterity.”