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  1. ITV Report

Gatwick's £7bn new runway plan

Photo: Gatwick Airport

The owners of Gatwick Airport vowed today to start building a controversial second runway by 2020.

The announcement is the latest salvo in the battle between Heathrow and Gatwick to win government backing for airport expansion.

Leading architect Sir Terry Farrell claimed a new runway would kick start an Olympic-style boost for the economy of South London.

Sir Terry has been commissioned to draw-up plans for expanding the airport as part of a new campaign called "Gatwick Obviously".

Credit: Gatwick Airport

Gatwick claims a second runway, to open in 2025, would link the UK to more destinations than a three-runway Heathrow.

Heathrow and Gatwick were shortlisted as favourites in December by the government's Airports Commission.

Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies said a new airport in the Thames estuary merited further investigation but a so-called "Boris Island" is now thought increasingly unlikely.