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The arguments for & against Gatwick Airport expansion

by Malcolm Shaw

The Davies report into the future of aviation in the South highlights that airport expansion is desperately needed in the south east - but few people want a new runway in their backyard. While growth could create more jobs, it would also bring more aircraft noise and pollution.

Gatwick Airport still has a lot of spare capacity. But, is a new runway even necessary? Our correspondent Malcolm Shaw has been looking at the arguments.

Passengers face airport delays

Passengers at Heathrow, Gatwick, and Southampton airports are being told to expect delays due to an air traffic control problem. National Air Traffic Services says it's a technical hitch related to a changeover from night-time to daytime duties.

Due to a technical problem at Swanwick we are currently experiencing some difficulty switching from night time to daytime operation. This may result in some delays for which we apologise. Engineers are working to rectify the problem as soon as possible."

– NATS

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Airline passengers at Gatwick up 4.4% to 20.8 million

Gatwick Airport has released its passenger figures for the first half of the 2013/ 2014 financial year. A total of 20.8 million passengers used the site between April & September 2013.

Turnover at Gatwick was up 10.7% to #360.6 million, while the pre-tax profit was up 18.75% to £127.3 million.

The airport's Chief Executive Stewart Wingate said:

"Gatwick will celebrate four years of new ownership in December. In this time we have turned around decades of under-investment to enable Gatwick to emerge as a competitive, world-class airport.

"Our results today show a strong financial performance but we must not become complacent. We must continue to invest and ensure we remain competitive.

"A new runway here would deliver the routes that passengers actually want at a better price, more quickly and with significantly less environmental impact. The UK's next runway has got to be at Gatwick."

ITV Meridian recently spoke to Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial officer, Gatwick Airport about the site's plans for the next decade.

Gatwick statement

“We are continuing to experience a power outage affecting some operational systems in the South Terminal. Unfortunately this has resulted in some delays for passengers and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. We are working hard to fix the problem and have contingencies in place to minimise disruption. We advise all passengers to confirm the status of their flight with the airline and to check in at the terminal they are scheduled to fly from.”

– Grant Payne, Media Relations Executive

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