Second runway at Gatwick not Stansted, say MPs

A SECOND runway should be built at Gatwick and not Stansted, MPs have suggested in a report published today (Monday December 7). A paper on the future of aviation, published by The House of Commons Transport Committee, said: We are not convinced that a n

A SECOND runway should be built at Gatwick and not Stansted, MPs have suggested in a report published today (Monday December 7).

A paper on the future of aviation, published by The House of Commons Transport Committee, said: "We are not convinced that a national case for an additional runway at Stansted has been made."

The report noted that there is a legal restriction that prevents construction of any additional runway at Gatwick prior to 2019 however, in terms of airport planning, this was not far off.

It added: "The delays in arriving at a final decision on a second runway at Stansted, coupled with the recession and declining passenger numbers, mean that a second runway at Stansted is unlikely to be completed prior to 2019 when the restriction on an additional runway at Gatwick expires.


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"The Government should reconsider whether the additional runway, if required, should be located at Gatwick rather than Stansted."

Last week, Gatwick Airport was bought by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for almost �1.5 billion after BAA was forced to sell the hub by the competition commission.

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GIP has also announced that it has recruited the former managing director of Stansted Airport Stewart Wingate to head up its operations at Gatwick.

The transport committee's report said that Gatwick Airport had submitted evidence, independently of BAA, stating that it expects its annual passenger traffic to reach 40 million within a decade and that it is keen to explore the option of a second runway.

The case for a second runway at Stansted or Gatwick is based on predicted growth in passenger demand and the report acknowledged that falling forecasts mean the shortfall in airport capacity by 2030 "has now disappeared".

The department for transport's national passenger forecasts for 2030 has reduced from 500 million passengers per annum to 465 million. The fall is accounted for by the change in the economic climate.

The report also noted that airport expansion at Stansted was not backed by local authorities.

Campaign director of Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE), Carol Barbone, said: "It should by now be clear to the Government and BAA that they are flogging a dead horse.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone these days who still believes there is a logical case to be made for a second Stansted runway.

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