29 JULY 2013
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One of the strongest contenders in the London airports’ conundrum, Gatwick, has come up with a surprise package with its proposal to the Airports Commission.
The airport has submitted plans for a second runway which it said could be built at “a fraction of the cost of expansion at Heathrow”. Under certain legal restraints it cannot start on the construction until 2019, and it was thought that the preferred site was north of the existing site.
What it has come up with are three options south of the existing 08/26 3,316m operation. Gatwick does have a second runway positioned between the present landing strip and the terminal building, but this is only 2,565m long, not suitable for the larger jets and only used when the main runway is out of commission.
The Sussex airport said that the new runway would cost between £5bn and £9bn, and could be operational by 2025.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s Chief Executive, said: “Our evidence shows clearly that an additional runway at Gatwick would best serve the needs of all passengers, and give certainty to airlines, communities and businesses.
“A two-runway Gatwick, as part of a constellation of three major airports surrounding London, will also provide flexibility in an industry where the only constant is change”. www.gatwickairport.com
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