Gatwick’s new owners rule out second runway

Gatwick’s new owners rule out second runway

The new owners of Gatwick Airport have ruled out plans to build a second runway. At a meeting with conservationists, Gatwick chairman Sir David Rowlands said there was “not a shred of interest” in a second runway.

Rowlands met with members of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) to talk about future plans for the airport under its new owner, US-based investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners.

Following the sale in December, the GACC and other groups feared the new owners would pursue plans to build a second runway despite the airport having an agreement with West Sussex County Council not to consider any plans before 2019.

During the meeting, Sir David said: “The simple fact is that we at Gatwick have not a shred of interest in a second runway. It’s not government policy and it’s not in our policy.”

“Even if the government started to look more favourably at the prospect, we would have to think very hard about spending £100m to £200m on a planning application with an uncertain decision.

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“We would have to look even more carefully at the economic value of a multi-billion pound project - would there be a commercial return?”

GACC chairman Brendon Sewill said the comments should kill off speculation and “a lot of uncertainty and anxiety”.

He added: “GACC thanks all those who over the years have supported our campaigns against a new runway.

“The united stand by local people, by the local MPs and by all the local councils across Surrey, Sussex and Kent has helped to produce this result.”

But he added: “We will remain on guard. We will stand ready, if need be, to launch a massive campaign to defeat any new runway plan, as we have defeated such plans in the past.”