Gatwick airport PR onslaught continues: it claims a 2nd runway would bring “Olympic-style boost”

Gatwick airport continues its PR barrage, in its attempt to be chosen to be allowed a new runway. It is arguing that the way the aviation industry will develop in future will make large hub airports obsolete. The airport claims a new runway would regenerate a swath of the South East from London to the coast and create thousands of jobs, across the Gatwick Diamond and beyond. They have hired Sir Terry Farrell to design and promote their plan, and he has said: “An extra runway at Gatwick and a new transformed airport here would provide for London – from the south, Croydon and going north – a bigger economic boost than the Olympics…..It’s an area that is waiting to have this kind of input.” He probably means there is unspoilt countryside in the area around Gatwick.  The claims of benefit from a 2nd runway include promises of jobs as far away as Brighton and Hastings, and “an extra 19,000 jobs in sectors such as retail, construction and ground handling” by 2050.” At present there are about 22,000 to 25,000 jobs at Gatwick. They claim they can build the runway for £5bn to £9bn.  The Airports Commission says the cost would be £10 – 13 billion including surface access improvements.  



‘Turbo-charged Gatwick airport would bring Olympic-style boost to south London’

 25 March 2014

Bold plan: A new terminal and two new runways in a computer generated image of Gatwick

Expansion at Gatwick would create an economic boost to rival the Olympic-inspired regeneration of London’s East End, the airport said today.

A second runway which could be in operation by 2025 would lead to new jobs and homes in the “Gatwick triangle” stretching from the airport to the south coast towns of Southampton and Dover.

The bold vision was outlined by renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell as he set out the most detailed plans yet for the proposed £7 billion transformation of Gatwick from budget airline specialist to premier league global airport.

The Sussex airport is battling arch rival Heathrow for the right to build a new runway to solve the South East’s chronic shortage of aviation space with a recommendation to be made to ministers after the General Election.

Sir Terry told the Standard: “A second runway will do for south London what the Olympics and Stratford did for East London. There will be better rail connectivity, a boost to employment and more homes. A second runway also brings with it investment in hotels, cargo holding and warehousing.

New terminal: the two-runway Gatwick, would include an upgraded station/transport interchange and inter-terminal transport link

“It will turbo charge that corridor all the way down to the south coast and do a lot for the natural growth of London in a balanced way.“

Dismissing Heathrow’s plans for a three-runway hub, Sir Terry added: “You have to think about a whole panning strategy for the South East. We’ve in the past talked about a constellation (of runways) but it’s really integrated connectivity of rail, roads and airports.

“A metropolis is different to smaller towns and cities like Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Dubai. Places like New York, Tokyo don’t build single airports – they build networks because they are regionally based. They’ve got to supply a complete system and to spread around. “

He said Gatwick would be balanced with the offer from Heathrow, Stansted and Birmingham which will be within 30 minutes from Old Oak Common when HS2 opens.

“It’s a question of how to make London work as the hub” he said.

The public’s experience of Gatwick would be “transformed” as passengers arrive and depart using a single transport gateway, linking rail, coach and taxis and modelled on Seoul’s Incheon aiport, also designed by Sir Terry.

A new third terminal would be dedicated to the second runway and all three terminals would be linked by a rail shuttle.

Gatwick says the airport would be much more compact than Heathrow and has guaranteed it would take passengers no more than 45 minutes from arrival at the hub to reach their plane.

Transport hub: it is hoped the plans would result in natural growth for London and the south east

Sir Terry, whose CV also includes the MI6 building and Charing Cross station, said: “It will be a completely different kind of airport which will be as good as the best in the world, it’s a transformation of the airport with a new hub for road and rail with a shuttle which will link the terminals in a way you can’t do as efficiently at Heathrow. It’s going to be very compact and on the passenger side a totally new airport.”

Unveiling its “Gatwick for growth” campaign at the Shard today, chief executive Stewart Wingate said a second runway at Gatwick would create an extra 170 million passenger journeys by 2050.

He said short-haul direct flights would continue to account for two thirds of the market and Gatwick was best positioned to supply this. Mr Wingate insisted that the UK did not need Heathrow’s hub – which offers a wider range of transfer destinations –  because these could increasingly be reached flying longer-range planes.

A second runway at Gatwick would create 27 more destinations than expanding Heathrow. By 2030, Airport charges – passed onto passengers in airfares – would rise to £12 to £15 at Gatwick and £35 at Heathrow, although analysts say a third runway at Heathrow could make it cheaper and more attractive to budget airlines. [These low figures are contested – the cost is actually likely to be more like £33 per head at Gatwick, up from around £8 now. These estimates take in the higher cost of the runway + terminal, as estimated by the Airports Commission, not Gatwick’s very low estimate.   Link ].

Heathrow insists only a hub can serve the UK’s long-term economic interests by connecting to emerging markets. Heathrow also remains the preferred destination of the major airlines alliances.





Gatwick steps up fight for airport expansion

By Jane Wild (Financial Times)


Expanding Gatwick would regenerate a swath of the South East from London to the coast and create thousands of jobs, the airport argued on Tuesday as it stepped up its campaign to be allowed to build a second runway.




This is the Gatwick airport press release:

Expanded Gatwick best for UK growth and London regeneration

25 March 2014

As Gatwick unveils a campaign – ‘Gatwick Obviously’ – to step up its case for expansion, emerging findings from new research that will be submitted to the Airports Commission in May show that with a second runway at Gatwick there would be more connections to more destinations than with a third runway at Heathrow.

Work led by Sir Terry Farrell also shows how expansion at Gatwick would provide better balanced growth for London, the region and the UK. With the majority of traffic shared between London’s two major airports, the economic benefits would be more evenly distributed across London and the South East and have significant regenerative benefits in particular for South London, including Croydon and down to Brighton and the South Coast.

An expanded Gatwick would help the UK connect to 27 more destinations than a third runway at Heathrow (442 vs 415 destinations served from London). The same research also shows that a second runway, as part of the network of airports surrounding London, would cater for 11 million more passengers each year by 2050 than a three-runway Heathrow.

Gatwick today also committed to bringing the economic benefits of an additional runway as fast as possible to the UK. Subject to Government approval and assuming quick decision making, Gatwick believes it can start construction of a new runway before the end of the next parliament in 2020, with the first flights taking off by the end of the following one in 2025.

The new information was presented today by Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick CEO, and Sir Terry Farrell, the UK’s leading architect planner, at an event at the Shard in Central London for political and business leaders.

Stewart Wingate said: “The next runway needs to bring the greatest economic return for the UK at the lowest environmental cost. That makes Gatwick the obvious answer as we will be able to connect to more destinations in the future because we are the only airport to cater for all airline models. It is the best solution that embraces long term aviation trends. It can also be delivered in less time with less cost and less noise. Most importantly, passengers will benefit from more choice and better value for money. If chosen – and with swift decision making – we are committing today to start work on site in the next Parliament.”

Sir Terry Farrell said: “I have no doubt that with a second runway, Gatwick will deliver more balanced, and more widely spread, economic growth for London and the South East. Expansion at Gatwick could do for South London and the wider region what the Olympics did for East London and give a huge boost in terms of jobs, housing and regeneration.”



Actual cost of Gatwick runway, according to the Airports Commission:

[The Gatwick  press release does not mention the figure Gatwick often claims, of being able to build the new runway for £5 – 9 billion or so. By contrast, the Airports Commission’s interim report, published on 17th December, said:

” The costs of expansion at Gatwick, while substantial (estimated to be between
£10-13 billion over the period to 2030, once the costs of surface access
improvements are taken into account, and with allowances for risk and optimism
bias), are lower than those of expansion at Heathrow and significantly lower than
those of any new hub airport.”

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See also


A new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick would mean big increases in passenger fees – New report

March 10, 2014

Who pays

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has submitted a new report to the Airports Commission which casts doubt on the feasibility of building a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow. So far there has been little realistic discussion about who will actually pay for the proposed runways. The new study,Who Would Pay for a New Runway” by Brendon Sewill, shows that a new runway at Heathrow would be likely to mean an increase in landing fees and other airport charges from £19 per passenger now, up to £31. At Gatwick there would be a larger increase, up from £8 now to £33.60. The study points out that with all the London airports separately owned, unlike in the days of BAA, the cost will have to fall only on the passengers using that airport. If an expensive runway (and terminal) is built, the options are either that the passengers pay for it – or that it has to have public subsidy. A report for the Airports Commission, by KPMG, concluded that a new Heathrow runway would need a subsidy of around £11 billion, and a new Gatwick runway a subsidy of nearly £18 billion. However, the Government is reluctant to commit public funds, and new EU guidelines ruling out subsidies to major airports. That leaves landing charges – will passengers put up with that, or vote with their feet by using cheaper airports?

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