Gatwick airport is edging ahead as the bookmakers favourite to be picked by Sir Howard Davies’ Airport Commission as the race to build extra runway capacity in the south east heats up.
Bookmaker Betfair has Gatwick as 4/6 to be recommended to get an extra runway by the Airport Commission before October 2015. Heathrow is a relatively distant 11/10.
Paddy Power meanwhile has Gatwick at 11/10 in its more long-term bet to see which new runway is in operation by 2025, with Heathrow currently at 6/4.
The odds are firmly on one airport getting the go-ahead, with chancellor George Osborne last night telling the CBI annual dinner that his government was going to “take” Davies’ decision “and get it built”.
“Our physical infrastructure is not nearly good enough, and previous governments ducked the difficult decisions,” said Osborne.
“In this Parliament we’re going to legislate for and start building the high speed rail links that other countries built decades ago
“We’re going to ramp up investment in roads.
“Give Britain the fastest broadband and the most competitive telecoms.
“And when we get Howard Davies’ report on a new runway in the South East, we’re going to take the decision and get it built,” he said.
Sir Howard Davies is expected to make his recommendation to the government within the next few weeks. No firm date has been set for when the government might respond.