Londoners want expansion at Heathrow and Gatwick

Londoners want to see new runways built at both Heathrow and Gatwick in a boost to big businesses pressing for airport expansion in the South-East, according to a new poll.

The Airports Commission recommended that Heathrow was allowed to build a third runway this summer, edging out proposals for a second landing strip at Gatwick.

The Government has pledged to decide whether to go ahead with Heathrow expansion by the end of the year, though Gatwick executives continue to press the case for their £9.3 billion runway.

Zac Goldsmith, who is favourite to land the Conservative mayoral nomination, and his Labour rival, Sadiq Khan, oppose a new runway at Heathrow. But the Populus poll of more than 1000 Londoners on behalf of expansion campaign group Let Britain Fly suggests 35% back a third runway in West London, with 25% against.

And although the Airports Commission believes that only one new runway is needed to meet growing passenger demand in the South-East, 36% want expansion at both Britain’s major airports. Only 26% were opposed.

Let Britain Fly director Gavin Hayes said: “It’s clear from this poll that more Londoners support airport expansion than oppose it and strongly back an early Parliamentary vote; in fact the most favoured option is for there to be two new runways at both Heathrow and Gatwick.”

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