Members of the Gatwick Coordination Group (GCG) welcome the Government’s announcement on increasing UK airport capacity by building a new runway at Heathrow, in line with the independent Airports Commission’s recommendation.
Chairman of the GCG, Crispin Blunt MP said: “This is a decision in the national interest, approving anything other than Heathrow today would have let down the whole of the UK.
“Only Heathrow is able to develop the international aviation hub the UK requires to compete on the world stage, increase the UK’s export trade and provide long haul links for commerce and investment. The Government’s decision confirms the 3 years of deep and rigorous analysis by the Airports Commission.
“Gatwick being kept in the running leveraged a good package of mitigation measures and commitments from Heathrow, including a ban on night flights. Gatwick had already failed in making its case to the Airports Commission due to its inferior economic case, lack of resilient surface transport infrastructure and lack of any available local labour force to staff the airport.
“We are pleased that the blight on local communities around Gatwick is now being lifted as the prospect of the environmental destruction caused by increased local housing development and intolerable strains on the already over-stretched rail network, which a new runway at Gatwick would have entailed, is finally removed.”
“It is now time for the owners of Gatwick to abandon their plans for a new runway and concentrate on restoring the previously constructive relationship with local residents which has so spectacularly disintegrated during this process.
“I would also like to thank the very wide coalition brought together by the Gatwick Coordination Group and for the work they have done. Over 2½ years ago we formally brought our efforts together within the Group and today delivers a significant victory for the people we represent.”
Notes to Editors
The Members of Parliament on the Gatwick Coordination Group are as follows:
- Crispin Blunt MP – Member of Parliament for Reigate (Chairman)
- Sir Paul Beresford MP – Member of Parliament for Mole Valley
- Nusrat Ghani MP – Member of Parliament for Wealden
- Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP - Member of Parliament for Arundel & South Downs
- Jeremy Quin MP – Member of Parliament for Horsham
- Tom Tugendhat MBE MP – Member of Parliament for Tonbridge and Malling
- Henry Smith MP – Member of Parliament for Crawley
- Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP – Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex
The group also includes representatives of the neighbouring County Councils, Parish and Town Councils and civil society.