In October this year, bosses at Gatwick Airport initiated the process of building a second runway at London’s second largest airport.
In an attempt to resolve Britain’s air capacity crisis, Gatwick officials are studying options to build a second runway by 2020. A second runway cannot be built before 2019 due to a long-standing local agreement. However, Gatwick bosses have announced they are looking at the implications of building a new airport, and are evaluating the environmental and economic impacts of various second runway options.
London’s busiest airport, Heathrow, is currently operating close to full capacity, after the government blocked plans to build a third runway at Heathrow, due to the considerable increase of planes that would fly directly over the capital.
It is being argued that a second runway at Gatwick would have a considerably lower environmental impact than a third runway at Heathrow. As Howard Davies, former Financial Services Authority Head stated in a recent press release:
“There are clear practical advantages of a new runway at Gatwick. When compared with a third runway at Heathrow, we would have a significantly lower environmental impact whilst adding significantly more capacity.”
There is also talk about the prospect of expand Gatwick Airport so that it would be part of ‘Heathwick’, a joint venture between Heathrow and Gatwick that includes plans to build a high-speed rail link between the two airports that would reduce the journey time to approximately 15 or 20 minutes.
Rumours of a three-airport collaboration, between Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton have also surfaced, known as Heathwickton. The argument has arisen that a three-airport merger would increase air travel capacity in the south of England and a high speed rail network that would connect Heathrow, London and Luton, London airport transfers, would be much more hassle free.
As well as making London airport transfers quicker and more hassle-free, ‘Heathwickton, would also provide faster access to Birmingham as well as London.