Gatwick unveils £1bn in additional investment

Gatwick unveils £1bn in additional investment

The owners of Gatwick Airport have unveiled proposals to ramp up the existing investment at the airport as competition continues to increase in the south-east of England.

Officials at Gatwick confirmed the airport will now spend a further £1 billion on the airport between 2014 and 2019 to build on the improvements delivered to passengers over the past three years.

Longer term it said it would be making the case to be the location for the next runway in the south-east.

However, the government has said no decision can be taken on this issue until after the next general election, in 2015.

The next phase of improvements include further transformation of check-in areas and a £26 million modern technology security area in North Terminal and a £90m expansion of the international departure lounge.

Gatwick Airport also plans to start work by as early as by 2014 on a £175m plan to extend Pier 6 to increase the number of A380 stands.

So far it has spent £892m of a planned £1.2bn upgrade programme set down for 2008-2014.

This equates to around £20m per month to upgrade and improve the airport facilities.

However, airlines have been less that welcoming of the news, with Virgin Atlantic arguing Gatwick should seek to lower prices and better utilise existing resources.

A statement from the transatlantic carrier read: “Virgin Atlantic believes that Gatwick airport continues to hold significant market power and the CAA must continue to regulate to ensure that Gatwick delivers services our passengers need at a price which is good value for money.

“Around £1bn has been invested in the airport experience at Gatwick in recent years.

“Instead of repeating that level of expenditure, the airport should be looking at making smart investment decisions
to further improve passenger services in a cost effective way.

“In the current economic climate other businesses, in private and public sectors and especially airlines, are making savings and delivering better services to customer at lower prices.

“Airports should not be exempt from that.”