London mayor calls for expansion of Gatwick Airport


London mayor Sadiq Khan, right, talks with Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate

The newly elected mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today visited Gatwick to hail the airport’s decision to boost its investment in the airport by an additional £200 million.

Khan also underlined his support for the construction of a second runway at the airport.

He called on the new prime minister, Theresa May, to support the capital’s economy by making a final decision on airport expansion in the south-east a top priority, and he urged that decision to be in favour of Gatwick.

The £200 million increase in investment announced by Gatwick today will be spent transforming, revitalising and improving the existing airport – and will bring the total investment over the coming five years to £1.2 billion. 

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The total invested in improving the airport since new ownership through to 2021 will be £2.5 billion.

Some of the projects identified in the new Capital Investment Programme (2016 to 2021) announced today include the expansion of both the North Terminal and South Terminal departure lounges as well as the upgrading shopping facilities.

A the same time, Gatwick unveiled plans for the expansion of the North Terminal and South Terminal immigration halls as well as the addition of aircraft parking stands and optimisation of taxiways. 

This investment will allow Gatwick to bring forward planned projects to cater for and support the airport’s rapid growth.

The airport has also identified some new projects which will provide the additional capacity for future passengers while a decision on expansion is awaited. 

Since coming into private ownership in 2009, Gatwick has grown from 31 million annual passengers to 41 million annual passengers.

Gatwick could not have achieved this rapid and record growth without huge investments in infrastructure, systems, and improvements to the passenger experience.

Khan, said: “Gatwick is the front door to London for millions of visitors to our city and I salute their decision to spend another £200 million on improvements to the airport.

“They have put together a formidable plan that is a fantastic display of their confidence in London.

“The new prime minister has a very important decision to make regarding new airport capacity, and I urge her to rule as swiftly as possible in favour of a second runway at Gatwick, which would bring substantial economic benefits.”