Further runway delay predicted
23rd December 2015 – Crawley Observer
How the proposed second runway at Gatwick Airport would look
A decision on airport expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick might not be made until before 2020, Crawleys council leader has suggested.
The Government was expected to announce whether or not it would accept the Airports Commission’s recommendation in favour of a third runway at Heathrow over a second runway at Gatwick before the end of the year.
But the Government has delayed a decision until summer. Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate described it as the ‘defining moment in the expansion debate’, but anti-second runway campaigners said it created a ‘minefield of uncertainty’.
At a Crawley Borough Council meeting on Wednesday (December 16), leader Peter Lamb said he would put money on a decision being delayed until after 2020, the likely year of the next general election, because of how politically difficult the issue was.
He said: “I would not expect a decision between now and 2020.” it was asked what the council was doing to highlight its opposition to a second runway as Gatwick Airport continued to lobby for expansion.
The council has voted to oppose a second runway, but Mr Lamb suggested there were better things to use council resources on rather than constantly writing to the Government.
Mr Lamb (Lab, Northgate) added: “I can tell you the Government is not going to care what the council thinks. It does not affect what they think it’s a national policy issue.”
But Bill Ward (Lab, West Green) said: “It’s a crucial time to take an interest and defend the council’s position, which is against a second runway. The debate is getting incredibly strong.”