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Smaller UK airports form alliance against Heathrow expansion

The CEOs of Birmingham Airport and Gatwick Airport have joined together to call on the Airports Commission “to ensure any new runway developments promote competition and choice across the UK”.

It is the first time any of the UK’s smaller airports have formed an alliance to promote expansion of their capacity. If Gatwick and Birmingham get the go-ahead for their plans, it will be a severe blow for Heathrow’s expansion ambitions.

The two airport bosses stood side-by-side at the Conservative Party Conference to deliver their message.

Speaking after the fringe event, Birmingham Airport CEO Paul Kehoe said: “Passengers and businesses tell us they want to fly direct. With our region attracting over a quarter of the UK’s foreign direct investment, we are clear that the answer is a network of national long-haul airports, plugging all regions into global growth opportunities.

“Growth at Gatwick will support demand for greater connectivity, improving value for passengers flying from the South East and supporting the continued growth of our regions.”

Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick CEO, added: “Competition between the UK’s airports is essential for delivering choice for passengers, businesses and investors across the country.

“By expanding Gatwick we can harness the strength of the country’s network of great airports, delivering new south east capacity and supporting the growth of connectivity across the UK.

“This is why we are delighted that Birmingham Airport is supporting our case for a second runway.”

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