Belfast Telegraph

Sir Roy McNulty: Gatwick will press ahead with expansion plans

By John Mulgrew

Sir Roy McNulty has said Gatwick will continue to "press on" with its case for a second runway which would improve Northern Ireland's air links with London. The Gatwick airport chairman - who is one of Northern Ireland's best-known business figures - told the Belfast Telegraph: "We are disappointed. At the end of the day it comes down to a judgment on the economy, rather than environmental impact, and the commission has taken a particular view on that.

"The ultimate decision is with the politicians. It's up to them to decide. The good news from the commission's work is that it said Gatwick is plausible.

And the former chairman and chief executive of Short Brothers said while there were "still big hurdles", Gatwick was "still well in the game and will continue to press on".

"If you dig into the numbers, I think that Gatwick is better as far as the regions go. There are more domestic destinations with a Gatwick expansion than Heathrow.

"The total number of domestic passengers would be higher than with Heathrow."

"We think we have a case still well worth arguing. I think until there is a Government decision, we will continue to press our case."

Donegal man Sir Roy - who is also chairman of the late Lord Ballyedmond's Norbrook Laboratories - said while the commission had ruled against the Gatwick expansion, there remained strong support for its plans.

"I don't think we would continue to put the effort in if we didn't think we had a chance of winning the argument," he said.

Belfast Telegraph