Gatwick airport has called the Airport Commission’s data in its report on expansion as “flawed” and “out of date”.
The airport has just passed the 42 million annual passenger mark – a milestone the Commission forecast it would not reach until 2030.
Gatwick claims this “further illustrates the flawed and inaccurate data it relied upon".
A decision on expanding airport capacity has been hit by continued delays and there appears to be no imminent decision on whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick.
Gatwick said despite the Commission’s assessment that Gatwick would not deliver long-haul connectivity, these routes grew 25 per cent year-on-year.
Overall, the airport recorded its busiest ever August with 4.8 million passengers travelling through the airport, +5.7 per cent on last year.
North Atlantic routes drove this growth +51% with Vancouver routes +96%, Montreal routes +63%, and Los Angeles routes +51%
“Our performance proves beyond any doubt that the Airports Commission’s report is fundamentally flawed,” said Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate. “Gatwick has had its busiest ever August, long haul routes have gone through the roof and we have just passed the 42 million passenger mark 14 years ahead of when the Airports Commission said we would.
“It is encouraging that the Prime Minister and the newly-established sub-committee will be examining this issue and looking at new evidence as a decision on airport expansion is considered. Gatwick is delivering for Britain today and, with a second runway, will continue to deliver the crucial growth we need now more than ever.
“The Airports Commission said that Gatwick could not deliver long haul routes yet we have added 20 this year alone putting us in the premier league of airports in Europe that serve 50 or more long haul links. The Airports Commission also said that we would not serve 42 million annual passengers until 2030 yet we passed this mark just days ago.”
Last week, a Centre for Economic and Business study found Expanding Heathrow is "critical" for the UK if it's to successfully exit the European Union.
The first post-Brexit report into the independent Airport Commission study has found that expanding Heathrow could boost UK GDP by up to £24,500 a family - double that of Gatwick.