GDEGF 2013

The Key Topic – Aviation Capacity Growth

crawleyLast year’s event, at the time of initial proposals to the Howard Davies Commission on UK aviation capacity growth, the key topic for the first event was the economic opportunity and threat which may be realised through aviation growth at Gatwick as well as the economic ‘up and downsides’ of potential airport expansion elsewhere in the South East.

Meshing with the Howard Davies Commission timetable, the event allowed discussion of the potential expansion of Gatwick Airport and its economic effect prior to Sir Howard Davies making recommendations for a short list of proposals to be carried forward to the final decision post election in 2015.

horshamThe event was sponsored by a range of local companies and organsations, including the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, and backed by the local authorities in the area, the Coast to Capital LEP, Crawley & Gatwick Chamber of Commerce, Gatwick Diamond Business Association, Manor Royal Business District, Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Sussex Enterprise, and Young Enterprise.

The event was at a crucial moment in the region’s economic future – a time of great opportunity and threat. The Gatwick Diamond Economic Growth Forum allowed all to work together to build the best future for the region.

We heard from Stewart Wingate, the CEO of London Gatwick Airport since 2009 about his hopes for deregulation of the airport, his plans to increase capacity from 34million passengers per annum to 38million by 2020, and his long term proposals following the 2019 safeguarding agreement, a three-airport two-runway proposal (two runways at Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick).