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Birmingham Airport announces support for Gatwick expansion

3 June 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review

Ahead of the UK government’s decision on where airport expansion in the South East should be, Birmingham Airport has declared its support for a new runway at Gatwick Airport.

Birmingham Airport announces support for Gatwick expansion

From left to right: Henrietta Brealey, Director of Policy and Strategic Relationships at the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate and Birmingham Airport CEO Paul Kehoe.

CEO of Birmingham Airport Paul Kehoe declared support for Gatwick Airport’s expansion plan at a business event held in Birmingham yesterday. Mr Kehoe said that a new Gatwick runway, when compared to the alternative Heathrow option, would lead to “greater competition and choice across the UK’s long-haul airports, allowing Birmingham Airport to continue to grow and fire the Midlands Engine.”

Birmingham Airport: a network of long-haul airports, linking all regions, is what is required

Mr Kehoe went on to explain that, whether people are flying for business or leisure, they want to fly direct from their airport of choice. With Birmingham experiencing fourteen months of record growth and announcing twelve new airlines in the past year, it is clear a network of long-haul airports, linking all regions into global growth opportunities, is what is required.

“The decision on where the South East’s next runway should be built is of national significance”

“The decision on where the South East’s next runway should be built is of national significance. It not only affects London but passengers and businesses across the UK as well.

“Of the two options before the Government, we support Gatwick’s expansion plan because it will foster greater competition among airports and allow other UK long-haul airports to continue to compete and grow their own direct services. Heathrow’s plan could constrain this growth with the direct international connections that airports like Birmingham have fought for being lost to west London.

“A decision for Heathrow would simply mean a return to the monopoly of the past, reducing choice, increasing fares and threatening the business of Birmingham and other UK airports,” He said.

Commenting on Mr Kehoe’s support, Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Expansion at Gatwick will deliver exactly the same number of passengers to the same number of worldwide destinations as expanding Heathrow. The only difference is that, with Gatwick expansion, those connections are better spread across the UK’s major airports, including Birmingham. 

“Expanding Gatwick will enhance competition between UK airports, providing a low-cost alternative that serves the London and South-East market, but doesn’t cannibalise future growth from regional airports. 

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