No sooner has Theresa May taken up her new position as UK Prime Minister than letters from both Heathrow and Gatwick representatives have been written advising her that in each case, shareholders and investors are prepared to back the proposals which are currently still under review.
In a letter to May from one of the principal investors in Heathrow, UK-based Universities Superannuation Scheme which holds a 10% stake, she was advised that up to £16 billion would be available for investment to pay for the building of a new runway, the first time this has been mentioned. The alternative would be an extension of the second runway, which would still come in at a hefty £14 billion. Proposals for a second runway at Gatwick airport are estimated at £7 billion. In the letter, USS chief executive Bill Galvin said: “Alongside our investment partners from Canada, China, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, and the USA, we stand ready to invest GBP£16 billion of private money into expanding Heathrow.”
Other principal stakeholders in Heathrow include: Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial – 25%, Qatar Holding – 20%, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, Alinda Capital Partners and China Investment Corporation.
Though unconfirmed, some media reports have indicated that a final decision, which has already been deferred, will come in September. When asked on Sunday for his opinion on which was the preferable option, new Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, refused to comment, but it is known that May has expressed concerns over the Heathrow option in the past.
On July 13 Roy McNulty, Gatwick’s Chairman, wrote to Theresa May advising that the airport’s shareholders, led by Global Infrastructure Partners and including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the California Public Employees Retirement System, had committed themselves to providing funding for their proposed project.
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