Letter: Dispel airport expansion myths

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Readers should be aware that like much of the business community in the Gatwick Diamond,

I come to this from a viewpoint of strong support for sustainable expansion at Gatwick.

We must dispel myths and distill down to facts, the debate over the future of our youngsters, and their youngsters. It is that important. On page 18 of your edition dated 26 November, you reported Councillor Brenda Smith’s “belief”, and her “question (of the) the need for additional runway space in the South East”. In fairness to our Mayor, it is something you hear often.

Putting aside that a Commission has spent much time, effort and research concluding that a runway is required in the South East, we need to consider the following facts.

Excess capacity does indeed exist at regional airports in the UK. Airlines are in the business of making profits. I think all of us, for or against expansion at Gatwick or indeed Heathrow, can agree both of those points.

Given those facts, would a rational person, dispelling “beliefs”, not recognise that if airlines could profitably run routes from airports where capacity currently exists, they would already be doing so?

Yet they are not.

This is too important for those that can command column inches by virtue of their position to use those inches to offer views based on “belief”, when the facts suggest otherwise.

Paul Roe, President, Crawley and Gatwick Chamber of Commerce