Gatwick Airport's chief executive is north of the border this week promoting greater connectivity between London and Scotland against the backdrop of the hotly-anticipated Scottish Independence Referendum.
Stewart Wingate is visiting Glasgow and Edinburgh this week with a message explaining how expanding Gatwick could be better for the Scottish economy.
Mr Wingate is due to announce a new study into airport expansion and Scottish connectivity to an audience of business leaders assembled at the Glasgow Chambers of Commerce. The study, commissioned through Inverness-based Northpoint Aviation, will consider levels of access and demand today, best practice around other European countries, and will assess the impact of a second runway at Gatwick on Scotland’s connectivity to London and the world. Gatwick Airport will return to Scotland to present the study's findings and seek more views in due course.
Mr Wingate said: “The debate over airport expansion in the South-east is not just about what is good for London - it is about delivering economic benefits, more affordable travel and greater connectivity for passengers throughout the UK.”
He continued: “Scotland is very important to Gatwick and our planned expansion will protect competition and deliver cheaper travel to more destinations for the people of Scotland.”
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "We are delighted that the chief executive of London Gatwick has come to Glasgow to listen to the views of our members. “Access to London is vital for the businesses we represent and for the success of the local and national economies, and Stewart has recognised that today.”
He said: “We are working hard to ensure that capacity constraints in the South-east don't limit our future ability to access such vital national and international markets, and in the short-term this remains an issue."
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for around 35 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South-east, generating around 23,000 on-airport jobs and a further 13,000 jobs through related activities. Gatwick is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.