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'Choose Gatwick airport over Heathrow for cheaper, quicker expansion'

Published on Mar 25, 2014 8:59 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - London could have a new runway more cheaply and sooner if the British government chose Gatwick over Heathrow as the site for airport expansion, the head of the capital's second airport said on Tuesday.

Lawmakers and business leaders agree that Britain needs new runways to help it remain economically competitive but building more capacity around densely populated London is unpopular with voters and a decision on expansion repeatedly pushed back.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive of London Gatwick, said a second runway could be built at Gatwick for 7 billion pounds (S$14.6 billion) compared to an estimated 17 billion pounds to build a third runway at Heathrow, Britain's busiest airport.

"If chosen - and with swift decision making - we are committing today to start work on site in the next parliament," Mr Wingate said at an event in London on Tuesday.

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