Nearly two thirds of London councillors support Gatwick expansion

With less than a month until Londoners go to the polls, 62% of the capital’s councillors have come out in support of Gatwick expansion - compared to 38% for Heathrow - according to a new YouGov survey.

The negative impact on the quality of life for local residents, particularly noise and air pollution, was singled out as the most important issue in the expansion debate. In a separate YouGov poll, 44% of London residents said they wanted Gatwick expanded, with 35% choosing Heathrow. 

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO said: “After decades of delay, Londoners recognise that Gatwick expansion can actually happen and that it is time to finally close the book on Heathrow’s plans. The UK cannot afford years of more delay so let’s get on and build a new runway for Britain at the only airport that can deliver it.”

Councillors were also asked for their views in seven areas central to the debate (see below), with Gatwick scoring significant double point leads in six, though a majority of councillors thought that Heathrow was best choice for the economic benefit to UK.

Negative impacts on local residents               Gatwick 58% / Heathrow 14% (44 point lead)
Built at lowest cost to taxpayer                      Gatwick 47% / Heathrow 20% (27 point lead)
Competition between airports & airlines       Gatwick 49% / Heathrow 22% (27 point lead)
How quickly runway can be delivered            Gatwick 47% / Heathrow 23% (24 point lead)
Regeneration of local area                              Gatwick 43% / Heathrow 25% (18 point lead)
Certainty of delivery                                        Gatwick 42% / Heathrow 25% (17 point lead)
Economic benefit to UK                                   Heathrow 46% / Gatwick 28%

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I know politicians, money makers and decision takers want to impoverish the rUK and concentrate anything of significant value in London and the SE but moving the UK's hub airport even further away from the other 35m people who don't live there seems like overkill. I'm sure if those in the SE don't want it then any number of cities across the UK would jump at the chance to host such vital infrastructure.