Additional capacity at Heathrow and Gatwick 'is essential', says ABTA

Travel Association ABTA has made a call to the Airports Commission to give the green light to an additional runway at both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.

Airport ExpansionABTA has argued that both cases for expansion are 'logical' whilst outlining that additional capacity is needed to meet a growing demand from passengers.

Although the Airports Commission is expected to make a recommendation for one net runway, it also highlights that by 2050 there will be sufficient demand for a second runway in the South East. But rather than waiting another 35 years for the second runway to be put in place, ABTA argues that it is 'appropriate' to have consent for planning for a new runway at both airports by next Parliament.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said:

“Increasing airport capacity is essential to the UK’s growth and global competitiveness; urgent action is needed. The Airports Commission has identified the need for two additional runways in the South East by 2050, and their detailed and extensive work should be used by the Government to produce a long-term vision for the UK’s aviation industry to 2050. This should involve planning permission for an additional runway at both Gatwick and Heathrow.”

Gatwick or Heathrow: which gets the most votes?

Last week, budget airline easyjet made a submission to the Airports Commission arguing that Heathrow expansion is in the “best interests” of passengers.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall said:

“Heathrow is in the best interests of passengers as it has the greatest demand.

“By comparison, the Gatwick proposal requires a significant increase in airport charges.”

The findings of a recent YouGov survey for Gatwick - which questioned 1,036 Londoners - revealed that 45% of travellers based in the capital would opt to build a new runway at Gatwick, compared to a lower figure of 39% for Heathrow.

Amongst the issues that swayed the vote in favour of Gatwick included; a lower cost to the taxpayer and minimising air traffic, with the latter coming in at 49% compared to 24% for Heathrow.

38% of those questioned also felt that an expanded Gatwick could help to boost competition between airports and airlines, compared to a figure of just 26% for Heathrow.

Whichever UK airport you are flying out of, it's important to organise travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 02 February 2015

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