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1 JUNE 2015

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Article from BTNews 1 JUNE 2015

Gatwick v Heathrow

Last Friday (29 May) was the closing date for public comment on the impact of airport expansion on air quality (See BTN 11 May).

Gatwick Airport chose to hold a series of high-powered briefings attacking Heathrow fronted by Chief Executive Stewart Wingate.  There is nothing friendly about this confrontation.  The stakes are high and the message from the South London airport clear. 

As far as Gatwick is concerned Heathrow is in breach of legally-binding air quality limits and would contribute to prolonged breaches making expansion there unlawful.  Gatwick has not breached these limits and still would not with a second runway.  Heathrow has refuted the allegations (see Heathrow v Gatwick in this issue).

“Air quality concerns have prevented Heathrow expansion in the past and the air quality in West London continues to exceed the legal limits and is forecast to do so until beyond 2030.
 
“The country cannot afford to make the wrong choice and risk years of delay on a project that is eventually halted because of its unacceptable impact. There is now an alternative – Gatwick has never breached legal air quality limits and would operate comfortably within these standards with a second runway.
 
“Gatwick’s expansion plans strike the right balance between delivering the extra airport capacity and taking the right steps to protect the environment."  www.gatwickairport.com

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