Gatwick welcomes the Government’s invitation to consult and debate on how the aviation industry can create headroom to grow by reducing its environmental impact.
Commenting on the Government’s consultation on the Sustainable Aviation Policy framework Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick Airport, said: “Aviation is a crucial part of the UK’s infrastructure and it should be allowed to grow and prosper but we share the Government’s commitment to balance sustainability considerations with the requirements to develop and sustain a competitive UK aviation sector.
“Indeed, next week we will be publishing our master plan which sets out our vision for achieving sustainable growth through to the mid-2020s. We recognise that noise for example is a major concern to those living near airports or under flight paths which is why our master plan will detail action plans for managing those, and other, impacts responsibly.
“We shouldn’t, however, underestimate just how much this industry contributes to the UK economy. It generates over £12 billion each year and keeps over 500,000 people in jobs. At Gatwick, some 21,000 people rely directly on the airport for a job and another 10,500 indirectly. 34 million people used the airport from the UK and abroad last year. The industry is a significant contributor to the UK economy and to specific sectors such as the City of London and inbound tourism and we must not forget that.
“But let’s also not forget that London and the South East has enough runway capacity today to boost the UK‘s connectivity to the rest of the world. Gatwick alone has room for another 11 million passengers off the single runway – more than enough to cater for the needs of the high growth markets today. Of course the South East will need further runway capacity from the mid-2020s and to that end we look forward to the Government’s upcoming ‘call for evidence’.”