Belfast Telegraph

Board formed to examine impact of second runway at Gatwick

Gatwick Airport has formed a board to study the impact of a second runway.

The airport said the Gatwick Growth Board (GGB) will examine the economic and social impacts of the airport's future growth and expansion plans on the local area, the South East, and on the economy of the UK.

The GGB will look at the implications of Gatwick's national status in the context of both one runway and two.

Gatwick said a "natural focus" of the board's work will be the impacts associated with a second runway.

But it will also examine the impacts of Gatwick's place in the economy and its expansion in the context of a single runway, recognising that a new runway will not be open until 2025.

The work of the board, which will be co-chaired by Tessa Jowell and Steve Norris, will extend across an initial two-year period and will deliver regular reports and studies to Gatwick.

The airport's CEO Stewart Wingate said: "Gatwick has invested billions to realise our transformation to this point.

"We have great plans for further growth in the future and it is now clear that only Gatwick can deliver the runway that the UK needs."

Baroness Jowell said: "London and the South East are crucial economic engines that drive growth in the rest of Britain.

"This is a great opportunity to build on the experience of the Olympics - commissioning the park and staging the Games - to bring economic and social benefit across the UK.

"It is important that the continued growth of success stories like Gatwick is seen through a national lens."

A poll in July showed most MPs believe a third runway at Heathrow is the major infrastructure project that will benefit the UK economy the most.

More than half (55%) of them ranked expansion of the west London hub as the first priority compared with just 14% who chose a second runway at Gatwick.