Thursday 14 December 2017

Third runway plans 'would double Heathrow charges'

Heathrow Airport: denial1
Heathrow Airport: denial1
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Landing charges at Heathrow Airport -- where Aer Lingus is the third-biggest operator -- would need to double to fund the construction of a third runway there, the boss of rival airport Gatwick has claimed.

But the suggestion by Gatwick boss Stewart Wingate-- in advance of a pivotal UK Airports Commission report due tomorrow -- has been rubbished by Heathrow, which has insisted that any rise in the event a third runway was built there would be nowhere close to double.

Gatwick is vying to build a second runway, which would cost between €6bn and €10bn.

But it has warned that it won't take a bet on such a big investment if Heathrow -- its main competitor -- is also allowed to expand.

The Airports Commission is due to deliver a shortlist of locations in the south-east of England where it believes new runways could be constructed to cope with rising demand for air travel in the future

Mr Wingate said that once capacity at Stansted, Luton and Gatwick is exhausted, the only remaining option for airlines wanting to expand would be to use Heathrow.

However, he claimed that high charges there -- which already mean it is not a viable economic option for low-cost carriers -- would spell the end of the growth of low-cost travel.

Irish Independent

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