Responding to the Airports Commission Final Report on July 1, Gatwick Airport said it remained confident that it will still be chosen for expansion as it is the only deliverable option.
Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick is still very much in the race. The Commission’s report makes clear that expansion at Gatwick is deliverable.
“It is for the Commission to make a recommendation but it is of course for the Government to decide. So we now enter the most important stage of the process.
We are confident that when the Government makes their decision they will choose Gatwick as the only deliverable option.
“The report underplays the massive environmental challenges of air quality and noise at Heathrow. They are huge. For example it states ‘additional operations at an expanded Heathrow must be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality’ and must not ‘delay compliance with EU limits.’
“Heathrow breaches these limits today. Air quality readings in Hillingdon at 6.00am this morning – and available on its website – showed NO2 at 87 micro grams, well over twice the annual legal limit. It is hard to see how a third runway with all the additional road traffic will improve the position. It will simply make it worse.
“It also cannot be right that effectively creating a monopoly at Heathrow will be better for competition than expansion at Gatwick. It goes against everything that we all know about the success of airport liberalisation in recent years.
“Of course the UK needs the economic benefits of expansion. But the country cannot fly to new markets from a runway that can never be built. Expansion at Gatwick will be quicker simpler and quieter. It will promote greater competition benefitting all passengers whilst limiting the environmental impact.
“The choice ahead is clear. Choose Gatwick and – after decades of delay – something can actually happen. Choose Heathrow and nothing will happen. It will simply be Groundhog Day.”