(Reuters) - Gatwick, London's second largest airport, has warned it will not build a second runway if the British government allows a simultaneous expansion of its Ferrovial-owned <FER. MC> rival Heathrow.
Gatwick's Chairman Roy McNulty said building a second runway was a "bet the company type of investment" and the timescale of getting returns on the project would double if Heathrow was allowed to expand at the same time, the Financial Times said on its website. (http://link.reuters.com/mad45v)
McNulty added that his airport would also be wary if it was only allowed to expand sometime after Heathrow constructed a third runway.
His comments come a week before the UK Airports Commission is due to issue an interim report next Tuesday that is expected to have a shortlist of potential locations for new runways.
Business groups such as the Confederation of British Industry have said British airports need to add capacity for flights to fast-growing economies and could lose out to airport hubs such as Frankfurt and Amsterdam in attracting investment.
Gatwick, owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, in July outlined the cheapest and fastest solution to this problem by suggesting a second runway at its south London site that would cost only 9 billion pounds ($14.73 billion) and be up and running in just over a decade.
The cheapest option put forward for a third runway at Heathrow, the city's biggest airport, would cost 14 billion pounds and be ready by 2025 at the earliest.
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore)