Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Gatwick better positioned to meet demand than Stansted

BAA’s plans for a second runway at Stansted were dealt a blow this week when an influential committee of MPs urged ministers to consider building new capacity for the South East at Gatwick airport instead.

The news came after BAA confirmed that it had completed the £1.51bn sale of Gatwick to Global Infrastructure Partners.

Restrictions on runway development at Gatwick imposed by the local council in 1979 will be lifted after 2019. And a report published this week by the Commons Transport Select Committee said Gatwick would be better located to meet demand by then.

“The government should reconsider whether the additional runway, if required, should be located at Gatwick rather than Stansted.”

Commons Transport Select Committee report

“The delays in arriving at a final decision on a second runway at Stansted, coupled with the recession and declining passenger numbers, mean that a second runway at Stansted is unlikely to be completed prior to 2019 when the restriction on an additional runway at Gatwick expires,” said the report.

“The government should reconsider whether the additional runway, if required, should be located at Gatwick rather than Stansted.”

The report is broadly supportive of government aviation policy and of plans to build a third runway at Heathrow, provided that environmental conditions are effectively applied.

Environmental groups reacted angrily to the report. “The government’s own climate advisers have clearly stated that we need to cap aviation emissions,” said Greenpeace UK senior transport campaigner Emma Gibson.

“The best way to do that is to stop building runways. Despite the aviation industry’s over-inflated claims, slightly more efficient planes and biofuels won’t deliver anything like the emissions cuts that we need.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.