In the first surveys since the Estuary Airport option was taken off the table by the Airports Commission - Londoners, Gatwick residents and people living near Heathrow, all supported expansion of the world's busiest single runway gateway.
Given a straight choice of building a new runway at Gatwick or Heathrow, 46% of Londoners think Gatwick should be expanded, compared to 35% choosing Heathrow, while 52% of Gatwick residents say their local airport should be expanded compared to only 36% selecting Heathrow.
More than half (51%) of Heathrow residents thought Gatwick was the best choice for expansion, with 40% choosing their local airport.
All three groups say expanding Gatwick would be the best option in terms of delivering greater competition between gateways and generating more choice for passengers.
They also opted for expansion at Gatwick based on the speed and ease a new runway can be delivered, and because fewer additional aircraft would fly over and impact the people of central London.
All three groups also said the impact on the local area was the most important consideration when choosing where a new runway should be built, and nearly half of both Gatwick (46%) and Heathrow (49%) residents said expanding Gatwick would be the best choice in this respect, with 32% in both areas selecting Heathrow.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, says: “These polls show that Gatwick’s campaign is gaining momentum. Aviation is changing fast and there is increasing recognition that expansion at Gatwick is best suited to current market trends and can help deliver the economic benefits the UK needs at an environmental cost we can afford.
“An expanded Gatwick will give London a system of competitive airports that will help keep fares low for all passengers at the same time as freeing up sufficient hub capacity at Heathrow.”