Gatwick bids for second runway as alternative to Heathrow expansion

Sixty years after idea was first mooted, owners proposing new runway to south of existing one

Travel Correspondent

Safer, quieter, cheaper: those are the likely benefits of a second runway at Gatwick, according to the airport's chief executive.

Stewart Wingate has revealed the Sussex airport's submission to the Davies Commission, which is studying the aviation capacity crunch in south-east England.

Sixty years after the idea was first mooted, Gatwick's owners are proposing a new runway to the south of the existing main runway. An agreement not to build another runway expires in 2019, and the expanded airport could be ready by 2025.

Three options have been presented to Sir Howard Davies' commission: a close-spaced, medium-spaced or wide-spaced runway. The first would not allow both runways to be used simultaneously, but could double the present annual passenger numbers to 66 million. The middle option would allow one runway to be used for take-offs and the other for landings, and increase capacity to 82 million - leapfrogging Heathrow's current passenger numbers.

A wide-spaced runway would allow full "mixed-mode" operations, with take-offs and landings from both runways extracting a maximum capacity of 87 million passengers.

The airport's submission asserts that, in terms of safety, "expanding Gatwick would be preferable to expanding locations closer to densely populated areas". This is a reference to Heathrow's plans for a third runway, which require flight paths that traverse Greater London.

Gatwick's owners claim that, even with a second runway, the number of people affected by noise would be only five per cent of those currently affected in the environs of Heathrow.

The cost is estimated at between £5bn and £9bn, including improvements to road and rail links. Heathrow's proposals for a third runway range between £14bn and £18bn.

Mr Wingate told The Independent: "Our scheme would be privately funded and be completed at a fraction of the cost of another runway at Heathrow". He said that charges at Gatwick would rise to pay for the expansion, but at "nowhere near the levels that Heathrow is talking about".

Gatwick's submission insists that a second runway would give London's airport system greater resilience to bad weather. At present the Sussex airport is much quieter in winter, when weather-related disruption is most likely, than in summer

Gatwick's owners have called for a "constellation of airports" around the capital, with a second runway at Stansted in due course to stimulate competition. But Heathrow's submission to the Davies Commission maintains: "Gatwick's proposal for three competing two-runway airports in the south east would not deliver a UK hub with the size and scale to compete internationally. The UK needs one Premier League airport to compete, not three second-tier airports."

Meanwhile Heathrow has stepped up its campaign to raise passenger charges above the rate of inflation. A survey conducted by Europe's busiest airport claims passengers they would be willing to pay a mean increase in charges of £44 per journey rather than see investment fall. The airport is proposing a £5 rise over five years.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said: "We're making clear that passengers want these improvements and are prepared to pay for them".

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy