12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Gatwick airport chairman Roy McNulty has labelled Heathrow “politically toxic” as both airports gear up to submit their final proposals for airport expansion.
This week both Gatwick and Heathrow will give their submissions to the Airports Commission which will make recommendations on where the next runway should be built after the next general election.
In a letter published in The Daily TelegraphMcNulty said with the extra noise and environmental impacts, “greater than all European airports combined”, it’s “simply unacceptable” for Heathrow to be considered.
The Gatwick airport chairman said if Heathrow is awarded the third runway it will create a “powerful monopoly” that will “stifle competition” and increase fares.
McNulty said twenty years ago few people predicted the popularity of low-cost airlines but now the industry is seeing a “new disruption” to the old aviation systems through the rise of long-haul, low-cost flights and it’s Gatwick that can accommodate these services.
“The low cost airlines rely on affordable airport charges and efficient airport infrastructure,” he said. “Heathrow is currently the most expensive airport in the world and is not equipped to meet the fast aircraft turnaround times required for the low-cost business model.
“In contrast Gatwick is the only airport that can cater for all airline business models, with affordable charges and facilities that enable fast and efficient aircraft turnaround times.
“No-one can say with certainty exactly what the future looks like. This puts a premium on ensuring that London’s aviation capacity remains as flexible as possible to meet demand.”
McNulty said expansion at Gatwick can also optimise how London’s airport system works as a whole and allow Heathrow to play its role better, with connections to emerging markets.
“There would no longer need to be 23 flights every day, for example, from Heathrow to New York as more flights would fly direct from Gatwick.
“That would then leave open some capacity at Heathrow to develop new routes in tandem with Gatwick. As a result there would be all the benefits for passengers and growth for UK plc with little of the environmental damage and virtually none of the massive delivery risk that expansion at Heathrow would bring,” McNulty added.
Read an analysis of Davies commission’s interim report of UK airports.