Heathrow will have "too much market power" if allowed to expand, Gatwick claims

A third runway at Heathrow would allow the airport to have “too much market power”, Gatwick has argued in its newest report to the Airports Commission.

Gatwick thinks that there’s a danger of the market seeing a repeat of the past, when Heathrow Airport Holdings (formally known as BAA) was forced by the Competition Commission to sell off a number of its airports. Regional airports could also potentially be affected by the expansion, which Gatwick says are vital for improving customer choice, boosting competition and maintaining low airfares, reports buyingbusinesstravel.com.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick airport CEO, argues that Gatwick should be expanded, rather than Heathrow.

“Competition between the UK’s airports has been one of the great successes of recent industrial policy and has delivered choice, better standards and lower airfares for consumers,” he said.

“A new runway at Heathrow would give the airport too much market power. However if Gatwick build a second runway it could compete more vigorously with two runway Heathrow, which would deliver benefits for both consumers and other UK airports.”

Birmingham airport chief executive, Paul Kehoe, agreed that smaller regional airports would be at risk if one single hub was allowed to control the market. He called for a network of regional airports, so that consumers are offered more choice, reports travelweekly.co.uk.