27 OCTOBER 2014
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Gatwick Airport Chief, Stewart Wingate, put forward a compelling argument in the 23 October London Times business section “Gatwick leaves Heathrow’s plan for a third runway in its slipstream”.
In fact he got it right “but not necessarily in the right order”.
Gatwick urgently needs a new runway but not for some of the reasons he has put forward. The airlines, his customers, want the new runway to be at Heathrow.
The real reason that Gatwick requires a parallel track is because it is the world’s busiest airport with a single runway. With the co-operation of NATS it can just about manage 55 movements an hour, or an aircraft every 55 seconds, but just one pilot slow to get on the runway, or not quite right on the approach, and there are problems. As things stand Gatwick cannot expand. It has reached its peak. Only a second runway will suffice.
London needs expansion at both Gatwick and Heathrow. Sir Howard should give both airports the go-ahead and let commercial considerations take over.
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