Bookies backing Gatwick to get another runway
Heathrow no longer favourite airport for expansion scheme
A BOOKMAKER has slashed the odds on Gatwick getting a new runway, making the airport its clear favourite over Heathrow.
Betway now makes a second runway at Gatwick 4/7 on, meaning punters would get an £11 return on a £7 stake should they win.
The bookmaker has lengthened the odds on a third runway being built at Heathrow to 5/4.
PaddyPower also makes Gatwick the favourite for a new runway, at 4/5 on, but deems it a much tighter contest, with Heathrow 10/11 on.
The Airports Commission last summer recommended a third runway at Heathrow over a second landing strip at Gatwick, provided certain conditions were met.
But Betway says Gatwick’s chances have been boosted significantly by Theresa May’s ascension to prime minister and her appointment of several cabinet members who are opposed to Heathrow expansion.
It also claims Sadiq Khan‘s election as London mayor, and his support for expanding Gatwick, has swung the pendulum firmly towards the West Sussex airport.
A Betway spokesman was quoted as saying: “The highly controversial decision could have serious ramifications for May’s new government, as many MPs have promised to oppose expansion near their constituencies at all costs.”
The bookmaker pointed out that Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith had promised to trigger a by-election should Heathrow win the race for a new runway.
It also highlighted how newly-appointed education minister Justine Greening was staunchly opposed to Heathrow’s expansion, while new foreign secretary Boris Johnson has promised to put his body in the way of bulldozers to prevent a third runway being built.
John Stewart, chairman of anti-Heathrow expansion group HACAN, said: “It is still too close to call on where the new runway will go but Gatwick must be a lot happier now than they were just a few weeks ago.”
A Gatwick spokesperson said: “It is now clearer than ever that only Gatwick can deliver the new runway Britain needs and do so by 2025.”
However, a recent poll suggested most MPs favoured expanding Heathrow over Gatwick.
New chancellor Philip Hammond had appeared to suggest Heathrow was the front-runner for a new runway when he made an unfortunate slip-up during a recent radio interview.
A spokesman for Heathrow Airport was not available for comment.
NEW FAVOURITES: Gatwick Airport may benefit from the new prime minister’s anti-Heathrow expansion stance