Sunday Times believes Gatwick has been offered “consolation prizes” for not getting runway agreement yet
The Sunday Times believes that Gatwick has been offered various ways in which the airport could be helped, if it is not selected by the government as the site for a runway. The Times has been a firm supporter of a Gatwick runway, against Heathrow, for months – with many articles backing Gatwick’s case. The Sunday Times says in private meetings Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, and his officials had asked Gatwick what ministers could do as compromise options to assist the airport’s growth, even if does not get a runway. This, the say, is an indication that the government is poised to approve a Heathrow 3rd runway. Heathrow apparently were not given any such offer. Theresa May’s cabinet is expected to decide by the end of October where to build a new runway in the southeast of England. Some of the things that might “smooth things over” with Gatwick might be a package of rail and road improvements – or telling Gatwick that while Heathrow could start the process of getting a runway built right away, Gatwick could build a runway within the next decade. An aviation expert commented that Theresa May might lay out a “road map” of different stages for aviation expansion. It is possible that the process of getting consent for a Heathrow runway could take so long that, even if Gatwick started the process years later, it could get a runway completed earlier.
Gatwick put on alert for runway defeat
By Mark Hookham, Transport Correspondent (Sunday Times)
October 16 2016,
Gatwick airport has been offered a consolation prize by ministers in a further sign that the government is ready to approve the expansion of its rival Heathrow.
Ministers have asked Gatwick for a list of “compromise” options for expanding the airport, should it not get the go-ahead for a new runway this month.
Insiders believe this is further evidence that the government is poised to approve a third runway at Heathrow at a cost of £17.6bn, as it did not receive a similar request.
Full Sunday Times article at
The Sunday Times understands that Heathrow and Gatwick have each spent at least £30m on lobbying, PR and advertising campaigns. Heathrow Hub has spent about £10m.