The chairman of Gatwick Airport has written to David Cameron with a new pitch to secure the new runway recommended last year by the Airports Commission.
In a letter on behalf of Gatwick Airport Limited, Sir Roy McNulty set out eight pledges, which he said offered ‘a road map to delivering a new runway for Britain’.
London's Gatwick Airport
Stuart Wingate, the airport’s chief executive, further sought to tempt Mr Cameron by describing the opportunity to break ground on a new runway before the next general election as ‘a great legacy for the prime minister’.
Gatwick said its pledges ‘represent a fair deal for the UK’. They include: promises on deliverability, economic growth, a cap on passenger fares, ‘legal’ air quality and a cap on the number of people most affected by noise.
It gave an undertaking 'that its second runway will be operational by 2025 with planning consent granted within this Parliament', subject to a Government decision by this October and a normal planning timetable.
It also pledged that 'to introduce a noise contour cap of 70kmsq covering 15,000 people experiencing 57decibels LEQ noise and a wider contour cap of 175kmsq covering 40,000 people experiencing 55 decibels LDN'.
Last July, the Airports Commission recommended Heathrow as the site of a new runway in the South East of England, subject to a number of conditions, including the creation of a statutory independent aviation noise authority, which Heathrow accepted.
A final decision from ministers was subsequently delayed. However, last month transport minister Andrew Jones said ministers will by the end of the year ‘publish a consultation on national airspace and noise policy, which will include the potential role of a noise body’.
Separately, Stansted Airport faces legal action on behalf of thousands of local residents seeking compensation over alleged devaluation of their property caused by the airport's planned expansion.
Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion claimed the cost to the airport could run to hundreds of millions of pounds. It announced the move after the airport ‘failed to meet a deadline to make a public statement agreeing to introduce a compensation scheme for local residents after years of prevarication’.