The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has welcomed a new investment in Gatwick Airport and called on the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, to make a quick decision on airport expansion in south-east England.
Khan opposed a third runway at Heathrow during the recent mayoral election, arguing that Gatwick should be expanded instead.
On Friday, Gatwick Airport announced a ?200m increase in investment which will be spent transforming and improving the existing facilities. This new funding takes the total investment over the coming five years to ?1.2bn.
The airport?s new Capital Investment Programme for 2016 to 2021 includes:
– Expansion of the North Terminal and South Terminal departure lounges and immigration halls
– Upgrading shopping facilities
– Additional aircraft parking stands and optimisation of taxiways
The Mayor of London said in a statement:
?Gatwick is the front door to London for millions of visitors to our city and I salute their decision to spend another ?200m on improvements to the airport. They have put together a formidable plan that is a fantastic display of their confidence in London.
?The new Prime Minister has a very important decision to make regarding new airport capacity, and I urge her to rule as swiftly as possible in favour of a second runway at Gatwick, which would bring substantial economic benefits.?
The Airports Commission, which was set up to examine the options for expanding airport capacity in the South East, published its findings in favour of Heathrow on 1 July 2015. Since then, however, the government has delayed the final decision.
Making the case for Gatwick, the airport?s chief executive Stewart Wingate said on Friday:
?As Gatwick rapidly approaches full capacity, this increased investment paves the way for our second runway project. As we enter a new era for Britain, we must be agile and decisive as a country to show the world that we are open for business.
?It is now clear that only Gatwick can deliver the runway Britain needs to boost international competitiveness and trading links at a time when it is most needed, and we can do that before 2025.?