Gatwick Airport is not only the gateway to worldwide destinations for many of my constituents, it is a major employer for many as well. I have always been a supporter of what Gatwick delivers for our region so I was delighted to meet Chief Executive, Stewart Wingate, to discuss their plans for the future. With annual passenger numbers growing by 50% to 47 million in only seven years, and more long-haul routes launched in last two years than all other UK airports put together, there is much to be positive about. Gatwick provides jobs for 85,000 people and contributes over £5 billion to the UK economy, much of it to our region. East Sussex benefits hugely from the returns which Gatwick delivers across the county border.
Whilst, as my Transport Select Committee recommended, the major airport runway expansion is scheduled for Heathrow, there is much which Gatwick can do to further boost its position. I look forward to supporting Stewart and the team to do just that in the years to come.