Leading figures from Heathrow and Gatwick airports continued to battle it out over which airport should undergo an expansion, during a transport forum which was held earlier in the week.
Chief Executive Officer at Heathrow Airport, John Holland-Kaye, said that the Howard Davies’ Airports Commission “could not have been clearer” in its recommendation for a third runway at Heathrow, and that the matter of expansion was ‘urgent’ after the EU referendum.
Speaking at the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum, Holland-Kaye said that leaving the European Union means that it is now even more essential that the UK creates more trading links to growing markets of the world, and that we control our own trade routes.
He added: “Only Heathrow expansion can do this. And it’s an urgent task, if we are to have a strong and fair post-Brexit economy.”
Earlier in the year it was revealed that Holland-Kaye would receive bonus pay-outs if the third runway at Heathrow were to be built and he urged the government to “take back control of the UK’s supply routes.”
However, Nick Dunn, Gatwick Airport’s Chief Financial Officer, claimed that the Airports Commission’s conclusions were misleading.
Although he agreed that there was a growing need for airport expansion in the UK, Dunn said that Freedom of Information evidence requested by Gatwick showed that a second runway at the airport would achieve the ‘same economic outcome’ as a third at Heathrow and could also be constructed at a lower cost through a longer phased expansion, while also being more environmentally friendly.
Dunn also argued that the commission had exaggerated the figures by including stop-off international flights in its calculations, which resulted in the conclusion that there were greater economic benefits at Heathrow.
In July, Grimshaw won a contest to design a ‘hub airport of the future’ as part of Heathrow’s £16 billion growth plans.