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Brexit – What next for the airport expansion debate?

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

With the UK deciding to leave the European Union in last week’s referendum, Gatwick and Heathrow set out their case for airport expansion in order to support the UK economy and future growth.

Airport Expansion Brexit

Commenting on Friday following the result, a Heathrow spokesperson said: “With today’s result, the case for expansion at Heathrow is stronger than ever before. Only Heathrow can help Britain be the great trading nation connecting all regions of the UK to the world. It is the keystone that connects businesses of every size to markets across the world as the UK’s only global hub airport.

“The case for expansion at Heathrow is stronger than ever before”

“Global connections are critical for a new outward-looking UK to help our businesses and economy to thrive – and with expansion we can deliver up to 40 new destinations on top of the 83 we serve now.

“We are confident that the Government will make the right choice for the future of the UK, putting the interests of the country first.

“We are confident that the Government will make the right choice for the future of the UK”

“We look forward to working with the Government and its agencies on next steps.”

Issuing a statement to its passengers the airport said, Heathrow continues to focus on serving passengers and proudly being the UK’s front door.

“Anyone travelling through the airport will find it operating normally with no changes to security and immigration.”

Britain cannot afford yet more delay on airport expansion says Gatwick CEO

Addressing the National Infrastructure Forum annual conference on 27 June, Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate will tell business leaders that only Gatwick can deliver the runway capacity Britain urgently requires and will highlight that Britain cannot afford yet more delay on airport expansion.

“It is now clearer than ever that only Gatwick can deliver the new runway Britain needs, to provide the direct connections to North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia”

“It is now clearer than ever that only Gatwick can deliver the new runway Britain needs, to provide the direct connections to North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia that we all want, because only Gatwick can balance the economy and the environment.

“In these uncertain times that means Gatwick can give the country certainty of delivery. And Britain cannot afford yet more delay.

“We have pledged we can deliver by 2025, at a cost that everyone can afford, without public subsidy and at a fraction of the environmental impact of Heathrow. None of that has changed.

“Momentum has been growing behind Gatwick over recent years. The time has now come for everyone to get behind a new runway so the country can get the economic boost that is more important than ever. And that can only mean Gatwick.”

What next?

With the UK government yet to make a decision on airport expansion in South East England, a vote to leave the EU and a new leader of the Conservative Party to be elected, questions now remain as to whether expansion will be delayed further. Some reports suggest that if former London Mayor Boris Johnson was to be elected, it could hamper development at Heathrow given his previous opposition to a third runway.

In a statement, the DfT said: “The government remains fully committed to delivering the important infrastructure projects it has set out and will also continue to take forward important legislation put before Parliament in the Queen’s Speech.”

International Airport Review would like to know what you think…

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