Gatwick Airport announced an additional investment of £200 million backed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan bringing the total investment over the coming five years to £1.2 billion.

This significant sum will be spent transforming, revitalising and improving the existing airport, going towards expansion of departure lounges and immigration halls at both North Terminal and South Terminal, upgrading shopping facilities, additional aircraft parking stands and optimisation of runway.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “As Gatwick rapidly approaches full capacity, this increased investment paves the way for our second runway project. As we enter a new era for Britain, we must be agile and decisive as a country to show the world that we are open for business.

“It is now clear that only Gatwick can deliver the runway Britain needs to boost international competitiveness and trading links at a time when it is most needed, and we can do that before 2025.

“This investment will also make sure that we can continue Gatwick’s record growth and transformation. Our total investment since coming into private ownership now stands at £2.5 billion as we operate the World’s most efficient single runway airport.”

Mr Khan visited Gatwick on Friday where he urged new Prime Minister Theresa May to give the go ahead for a second runway as quickly as possible.

“The new Prime Minister has a very important decision to make regarding new airport capacity and I urge her to rule as swiftly as possible in favour of a second runway at Gatwick, which would bring substantial economic benefits,” he said, adding the whole of the UK would benefit from the economic boost and opportunities for growth around Gatwick expansion.

In 2009, Mrs May opposed the plan to expand Heathrow, saying it would result in ‘increased noise and more pollution for thousands of people’.

Mr Khan added: “Crucially, this choice would mean we can meet the future aviation capacity requirements of London and the south-east while keeping our air quality safe and within legal limits.”

Despite a recommendation from the Airports Commission last July that a third runway at Heathrow should be built, the decision was delayed in December for the west London airport to demonstrate its ability to meet air pollution targets.

In response to Mr Khan’s speech, a Heathrow spokesman said: “The Airports Commission disagree with Sadiq Khan and Gatwick.

“Following an independent £20 million, two-and-a-half-year deep-dive into the issue of airport capacity, they confirmed that Heathrow expansion could provide the capacity the UK needs more easily and quickly than any other option.”

Also, following Friday’s speech, campaign group Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions pointed out the airport’s investment is dwarfed by Heathrow’s £3bn five-year commitment between 2014 and 2019, as well as the current Southern Rail misery affecting the Gatwick area.

“Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, needs to decide if he is supporting the commuters that suffer one of the worst railway lines in the country, the Brighton Main Line, or Gatwick expansion as it will add 90,000 extra passengers a day to the line that can’t physically be expanded,” the group added.

Source – Get Surrey