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Gatwick leading the way

Kevin Richmond our CEO spent the day attending the London Gatwick Economic Summit.

Last week I was pleased to attend the second Economic Summit hosted by Gatwick Airport. The airport is an important part of the UK economy contributing 0.3% of GDP. It is also vital in Sussex – not only is the airport one of our biggest employers (over 20,000 employees) but there are over 200 businesses based at the airport.

"We are pleased to see that Gatwick has a strong commitment to the economy and community of Sussex and are pleased to work in partnership to help them give back to the communities of which it is part."

Kevin Richmond
-
CEO

Gatwick Airport is one of the Foundation’s fundholders – giving us £100,000 per year to award grants to charities in the communities around the airport and giving the same amount to our sister community foundations in Surrey and Kent.

The second Gatwick Economic Summit brought together 150 leaders from charities, businesses and local government to discuss how we can all help to build a thriving and sustainable economy for our region. It was interesting to hear that Gatwick served 32.8m passengers in 2022, which is 70% of the 2019 traffic. This increase in passengers since the pandemic has been a lot faster than at first feared and bodes well for the local economy.

I was pleased to hear that Gatwick Airport did not shy away from discussing the environmental impact of air travel. One session of the conference was dedicated to a discussion of how the air travel industry can reduce its carbon footprint. There was a high level of confidence that more sustainable aviation fuels will become the norm in just a few years. Gatwick Airport itself has reduced its timescale for being net zero from 2040 to 2030. There was also some very active discussion about how every business can become sustainable – reducing costs and improving the engagement and motivation of employees along the way.

Part of Gatwick’s agenda for the event was to inform people about their plans for making use of the second runway to increase air traffic. There are of course different views about this development and there will be much discussion to come. Whatever may happen in that regard, we are pleased to see that Gatwick has a strong commitment to the economy and community of Sussex and are pleased to work in partnership to help them give back to the communities of which it is part.

You can read more about the event here.

Published on 24th Nov 2023

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