Heathrow and Gatwick start battle to secure an additional runway

Both Heathrow and Gatwick Airport have submitted their revised plans to the Airports Commission, which will decide which airport will get either a new runway or extension.    

According to bbc.co.uk, Gatwick is looking to get a second runway, whereas Heathrow either wants a third runway or an extension to its northern runway. The Airports Commission will look at the proposal but a decision will not be made until after the general elections in 2015.

Heathrow’s plans will cost £17 billion, but the airport claims the UK economy will be boosted by £100 billion as a result. Gatwick’s plans on the other hand are a lot cheaper, coming in at a cost of £7.8 billion. It says the expansion is the only way to keep airline fares down, reports buyingbusinesstravel.com.

Moreover, Gatwick claims ten million more passengers will be able to travel each year thanks to a second runway than with a third at Heathrow. Gatwick’s expansion could finish five years ahead of its competitor’s project too.

Gatwick chief executive, Stewart Wingate, explains that it makes more sense to fly planes over fields rather than populated cities.

“As we reach this critical point in the aviation debate it is clear the Airports Commission has a very real choice to make: expand Gatwick and create genuine competition in the market with lower fares for everyone, or move back to a London airport market dominated by a single player and saddle the next generation with higher air fares,” he says.