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21 January 2013
Today, Gatwick has written to The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, asking the Government to bring together London’s three main airports to work out how we can avoid significant numbers of business and leisure passengers being impacted by large numbers of pre-emptive flight cancellations at Heathrow due to small amounts of snow.
When both Gatwick and Stansted managed to cope with snow conditions over the weekend with only minor disruption, and where runway capacity exists today, Gatwick believes that there must be a better way to run London's airports.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive, said:
“It just cannot be right that passengers are being asked to accept apologies for pre-emptive flight cancellations. Huge numbers of business meetings and holidays will have been impacted and misery caused to travellers. The over-scheduling of flights at Heathrow during the winter period should stop, but we also need to maintain and grow our connectivity to the world.
“I am proposing that for the key winter months of December, January and February, Heathrow declares a level of capacity it can cope with in winter conditions. The additional flights then, for those three months, can move to Gatwick and Stansted. As a result there would be better use of the existing capacity at our London airports, safety would be enhanced and passengers will not have to panic every time it snows. London’s and the UK’s reputation is on the line and the airports should work together to make this happen.” "Clearly in extreme winter weather conditions a level of disruption at airports is to be expected but we should all be able to be open for business when confronted with normal winter weather conditions as we saw this weekend."ENDS
If you wish to view the letter, please click
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About London Gatwick
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for more than 36 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South-East region, generating around 23,000 on-airport jobs and a further 13,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is 28 miles south of London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.
In its December 2013 interim report, the Airports Commission included London Gatwick and Heathrow on its shortlist of potential locations for a new runway in the UK. Expansion at Gatwick will best meet the UK’s aviation needs for the future, can provide the greatest economic boost with the least environmental impact, and a new runway can be operational by 2025. For further information, see: www.gatwickobviously.com
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