London gateways battle it out

Following on from London Heathrow’s assertion last week that a decision on the part of the UK Government to green-light Heathrow expansion would provide an immediate economic boost and support up to 2,700 new jobs, fellow London air gateway Gatwick International has commissioned an independent assessment into the positive economic effect that the airport has at the local, regional and national levels.
Last week’s statement from Heathrow that a decision in its favour would be “the first step in helping Britain create a stronger and fairer economy in the wake of Brexit” was supported by the airport operator’s contention that there would be an immediate economic benefit to such a decision, especially in terms of job creation.
Heathrow also took the opportunity to assert that it “currently handles 29% of non-EU UK exports while Gatwick moves 0.2% and has no plans to build the infrastructure to move more”.
It further declared: “In contrast, expansion of Heathrow will double the airport’s already substantial cargo capacity.
“Heathrow expansion will connect more of Britain’s great cities to the growing markets of the world, resulting in £56bn more growth and 100,000 more jobs outside of London and the south than Gatwick.”
But Gatwick has something to say about that. Today (26 September), it has confirmed that its newly established Gatwick Growth Board (GGB) has commissioned an independent assessment from consultants Oxford Economics into the economic value of the airport.
The study is expected to be completed by November.
“Gatwick has strong ambitions to develop over the coming decade,” insisted Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate.
“Six years after we came into independent ownership. Gatwick Airport is now reaching the scale and scope to have much broader and positive impact on the UK economy.”

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