With a Government decision on airport expansion imminent, CEO of Birmingham Airport Paul Kehoe has today declared support for Gatwick Airport’s expansion plan.
In a major intervention in the debate, Mr Kehoe said that a new Gatwick runway, when compared to the alternative Heathrow option, would lead to â€œgreater competition and choice across the UKâ€™s long-haul airports, allowing Birmingham Airport to continue to grow and fire the Midlands Engine.â€
Paul Kehoe explained that, whether people are flying for business or leisure, they want to fly direct from their airport of choice. With Birmingham experiencing fourteen months of record growth and announcing twelve new airlines in the past year, it is clear a network of long-haul airports, linking all regions into global growth opportunities, is what is required.
Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said:â€œExpansion at Gatwick will deliver exactly the same number of passengers to the same number of worldwide destinations as expanding Heathrow. The only difference is that, with Gatwick expansion, those connections are better spread across the UKâ€™s major airports, including Birmingham.
â€œExpanding Gatwick will enhance competition between UK airports, providing a low-cost alternative that serves the London and South-East market, but doesnâ€™t cannibalise future growth from regional airports.
â€œFor the UK to achieve truly balanced economic growth, aviation policy must nurture growth in direct flights from airports such as Birmingham, instead of using taxpayersâ€™ money to concentrate our global connections in West London.
â€œGatwick expansion is also the most deliverable option â€“ it is a cheaper, faster and simpler scheme that will maximise the UKâ€™s connectivity sooner, at lower cost for users. We must choose the option that best meets the needs of the future and can continue to encourage this growth and that is Gatwick.â€
Gatwick has released a new report â€˜Gatwick Vision: Connecting the UK Nations and Regions to Global Growthâ€™which highlights the regional benefits of Gatwick expansion.
For more information contact:
Gatwick Airport press office
t: + 44 (0) 1293 505000
About Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is the UKâ€™s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for more than 40 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South East region, generating around 21,000 on-airport jobs and a further 10,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.