Heathrow v Gatwick

By | Category: Travel news
image of Heathrow terminal

More capacity at Heathrow?

As the time approaches for the government to decide whether Heathrow or Gatwick is to expand, both airports seem to be cranking up their credentials.

Heathrow Airport has been to the TUC annual get-together and has announced five new pledges that highlight the benefits of the airport’s expansion for union members

Among the pledges announced is a guaranteed place for the TUC in the Heathrow Skills Taskforce. The TUC representative will assist the taskforce’s chair, Lord Blunkett, and will bring “the labour movement’s perspective to deliver a nationwide skills legacy through Heathrow expansion.” To appeal to a wider audience, Heathrow also announced that twelve other members will make up the remainder of the taskforce’s membership, representing local government, further education, business and youth social action. Their work will start should the Government grant Heathrow approval for expansion suggesting that none of this will happen if Gatwick gets the nod instead.

The five pledges include creating up to 180,000 new jobs spread across the country, (not just the immediate vicinity of Heathrow) including 10,000 apprenticeships which the airport says will provide “high-quality careers for local people, ensuring all direct Heathrow employees earn the London Living Wage.” It will also support British industry by working with trades unions, UK steel producers “and SMEs across the country; meeting tough environmental and noise limits, enforced by new independent regulators; securing a lasting legacy for future generations.”

The TUC’s response? Frances O’Grady, general secretary, TUC, said, “Trades unions are proud to be working with London Heathrow to ensure that the third runway delivers thousands of high-quality jobs and apprenticeships. Does that suggest the TUC favours Heathrow over Gatwick?  Yes it does for O’Grady went on to say “We urge Theresa May to give the Government’s final go-ahead to the third Heathrow runway.”

Gatwick - will it get a second runway?

Gatwick – will it get a second runway?

At Gatwick, they have formed a Gatwick Growth Board (GGB) under co-chairs Tessa Jowell (Labour) and Steve Norris. (Tory.)

The purpose of the board will be to “examine the wider economic and social impacts of Gatwick Airport’s future growth and proposed expansion plans on the local area, the South East region, and on the economy of the UK as a whole”. It “will have a particular emphasis on ensuring that the benefits of expanding Gatwick are properly distributed across the region and the rest of the UK, so that the areas most in need of regeneration benefit appropriately from its plans.”

It “will also examine the implications of Gatwick’s national status in the context of both one runway and two. A natural focus of the board’s inquiry will be the impacts associated with a second runway but it will also examine the impacts of Gatwick’s place in the economy and its expansion in the context of a single runway, recognizing that a new runway will not be open until 2025.”

Norris is quoted as saying that “the investment and growth that Gatwick has brought to the UK since coming into independent ownership has been remarkable. Particularly in light of Brexit, Britain needs the certainty that Gatwick’s future growth and expansion plans bring and I look forward to helping take this forward to help maximize the real benefits that Gatwick offers for the region, and for the nation.”

It sounds as both airports are trying to recruit as many supporters as possible whilst emphasising how important they are to the economy, how socially aware they are and how their particular airports would be the best choice.


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