SPONSORED: It’s time for Gatwick – the right decision on airport expansion

With the election decided, the Airports Commission – appointed by the Government to come up with a solution to the need for more runway capacity in the South East – will now be finalising its recommendation on where the UK’s next runway should be built.


Before it is a straight choice between Gatwick and Heathrow for one new runway by 2030.

After decades of delays, Britain needs a decision – and it must be the right one. Gatwick can build a new runway much faster with minimal disruption, less environmental impact and without requiring any funding from the taxpayer. 

We all want the economy to expand but today more than ever we have to balance growth with the impact it has on the environment. No longer can we bulldoze our way to growth and disregard the views of the nearly one million Londoners who would be impacted by noise if Heathrow expands.

A new runway at Gatwick can deliver the economic benefits the country needs at a fraction of the environmental and financial cost of Heathrow.

Gatwick’s plan provides the Airports Commission and the Government with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to solve the issue of airport capacity for the generations to come.


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  • I live within earshot of Heathrow — although here in Kingston our lives are not so blighted by noise as other parts of the Richmond Park constituency.

    Compared with the rest of the country Robin Meltzer got a creditable result and second place in this constituency.
    His Conservative opponent MP Zac Goldsmith has repeated his promise to resign and force a byelection if the government pick Heathrow for expansion.
    He said so to me personally on my doorstep — so it must be true. 🙂

    We need as many byelections as possible in the next few years to rebuild the Liberal Democrats after the calamity of last week.

    So maybe a decision against Gatwick and for Heathrow would have some political benefit even if it ruins the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in South West London.

  • Paul Kennedy 13th May '15 - 8:44am

    Thanks for the money Gatwick Airport.

    But we are an independent democratic party which is serious about the environment, local decision-making, tackling climate change and rebalancing our economy away from the overheated South-East .

    So no thanks to your second runway. Leadership candidates please note!

  • Sponsored post properly marked, but it should be clear who is sponsoring it. Is this the airport or is it people who stand to gain from selling land?

  • Steve Comer 13th May '15 - 9:14am

    I’m pretty sure the ‘Gatwick Obviously’ is the PR camapign by the airport, at least the sponsors are clearly shown in this posting.

    The party’s policy on this is clear, but Liberal Demovcrat Ministers will not be making the decision will they?
    I feel Gatwick expansion is a lesser evil than expanding Heathrow, but I’d rather we took a more European look at this. From where I live the best way to fly to America is from Bristol via Ireland (US immigration checks are done there, so no massive queues at JFK). For other longhaul flights a connection at Schipol or Brussels is a far easier option than slogging down the M4/M25/M23 in a car/bus or taking out a mortage to buy a train ticket.

    …and I’m not sure I would sacrifce the health of residents of South West London just to get a handy by-election!

  • Denis Mollison 13th May '15 - 11:28am

    I agree with Paul

  • “the Airports Commission – appointed by the Government to come up with a solution to the need for more runway capacity in the South East

    “A new runway at Gatwick can deliver the economic benefits the country needs at a fraction of the environmental and financial cost of Heathrow”

    Which is it? the South East or the country? They are not the same. If it is the country, then we should consider that neither Heathrow nor Gatwick may be the solution.

  • The UK has two two-runway airports. Heathrow is at capacity, but the other one has many fewer flights.

    I hate to further annoy ex-Lib Dem voters in Cheadle, but the other one is Ringway at Manchester, which has ever-expanding long-haul traffic, and which HS2 will put at about the same time from central London as Gatwick. If there has to be airport expansion, why not a fourth terminal in Manchester? It already has good regional transport links, which are being improved (e.g. new direct rail services from Bradford in 2019), will be directly connected to HS2, unlike both Heathrow and Gatwick, so will be easily accessible from most of England (which Gatwick, on the wrong side of London for most of us, certainly isn’t).

    And we wouldn’t need a new runway, with all the immense requirements for land that would create; just some more terminal buildings to allow for more flights to use the runway to its capacity.

  • Zac Goldsmith has now repeated his promise to resign and cause a byelection on The Daily Politics.

    So book your trip to Richmond Park constituency now. The first byelection of this parliament may be with us before you think. Start training those new members in door-knocking, telephone canvassing, etc etc.
    If all 10,000 new members make it to this byelection it could be an interesting result. 🙂

  • The annoying thing is that Zac Goldsmith is one of the least objectionable Tories, precisely because he is principled enough to put his career on the line for his beliefs, and some of his direct democracy plans, green views, fighting the establishment on the paedophile scandal and anti-TTIP stances are extremely progressive.

    It is a shame it is not Priti Patel who we have a chance of booting out instead!

  • Jimbob
    The future of The Liberal Democrats requires a disciplined and optmistic approach to all possible chances to increase our number of MPs.
    Some Labour or Conservative MPs may be less appalling than some others but we are not in a position to be generous.
    Every opportunity must be taken.

  • Andrew Purches 14th May '15 - 12:04pm

    Why not use the RAF aerodrome at Northolt: it might have a adverse effect on a near by Golf Course, but with a rapid rail connection link to and from Heathrow main, this option is somewhat worthy of consideration I would have thought. It hardly justifies its existence, and has little to do with the defence of the Realm.

    As a West Sussex resident some twenty five miles from Gatwick,I can see the sense of the “Gatwick obviously” proposal, but am totally opposed to any linked “Market Town” development as proposed by the Mayfield Market Town monkeys, using the second runway as justification for the need of a new township for 10000 homes, smack in the middle of the Weald ten miles south of Gatwick. This would be an absolute disaster.

  • >Why not use the RAF aerodrome at Northolt

    This runway is already being used for commercial operations – up to a maximum of 7000 movements (ie. 3500 landings and takeoffs) a year. However it is addressing the private/corporate jet market, which naturally doesn’t mix very well with high density scheduled flights, which is what both Gatwick and Heathrow are about.

    Given the massive changes in aviation in the last few years, it is questionable as to whether the findings when finally published will be relevant to the aviation market in 2030…

  • Birmingham International Airport. Obviously.

  • >Surely neither Gatwick nor Heathrow would be the correct choice?
    Well that depends upon the question being asked…

    Effectively it would seem the Airports Commission has been manoeuvred into considering only expansion at Gatwick and Heathrow. Yes “Boris Island” did included on the shortlist, but given the history of proposals to build a new airport in the Thames estuary it wasn’t going to be favoured.

    Given the SNP’s new found voice, it will be interesting to see what they will have to say on this, as surely airport expansion is just another way to get more investment in Scotland , to help make it more viable as an independent state…

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