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NEWS Last modified on July 11, 2013

UK needs 'constellation' approach for London airports

A ‘constellation’ of Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted – each, in time, with two runways – is the best for the UK to beat the capacity crunch, according to Gatwick CEO, Steve Wingate.

Wingate, however, insisted that Gatwick should be first in line to get the next runway.

The call is part of Gatwick's response to the Airports Commission’s wide ranging questions contained within its’ Airports Operational Models’ paper, particularly on the future trends in aviation, and on the advantages and disadvantages of the Hub Model.

The gateway claims that its evidence shows that the ‘constellation’ approach will deliver the air connectivity London needs to remain a World City and for the UK to retain its status as one of the best connected countries in the world.

It also argues that its proposal is the only option that will create a level playing field between the airports and deliver true competition, which Wingate insists is necessary to drive higher frequencies, new routes and at better prices for the passenger.

Spreading capacity around London will also lesssen the environmental impact of Heathrow, make the UK capital's airports more resilient to disruption and keep London and the UK open for business, whatever the weather or incident, claims Gatwick.

Wingate said: “It is clear from the evidence we are gathering, with the help of some of the world’s leading aviation experts, that we need to develop an airports system in London and the South East that is robust and flexible enough to adapt to any future outcome.

"A two-runway Gatwick, as part of a constellation of three major airports surrounding London, is the best option to provide flexibility in addressing an industry whose only constant is change.”

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