Nick Clegg backs Gatwick for expansion

The Heathrow Gatwick debate is nearly over with a Government announcement expected shortly.

The Airports Commission favoured Heathrow, however, former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has come out in favour of Gatwick.

Writing in the Evening Standard, Mr Clegg outlined the reasons for his decision, namely:

  • Construction costs, which are expected to be far lower at Gatwick than Heathrow
  • Future growth not limited to a hub airport – the fastest growing sector is business travel which involves point-to-point services, not necessarily relying on an airport hub
  • Construction of Gatwick will be quicker than Heathrow. Gatwick already has an unpopulated site earmarked for development – Heathrow’s target area could be subject to lengthy legal challenges
  • Air quality – Gatwick is situated in a less populated area than Heathrow and development at Gatwick will pose far less risks of noise and air pollution than an expanded Heathrow
  • Basically, Heathrow is in the wrong place, and “If we were starting from scratch, there is simply no way that we would choose to build a new airport there.”

Which airport do you think will win the battle for the next runway?

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