Henry Smith MP has led calls from West Sussex Members of Parliament in a letter to the Prime Minister urging the Government to provide support for the aviation sector affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
With Gatwick Airport in the Crawley constituency boundary, and its impact reaching throughout West Sussex and further afield, the MPs have made a joint approach calling for Government support for this industry.
“Crawley and West Sussex are proud to be the home of Gatwick Airport, and we recognise the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the aviation and travel sectors.
“While Government action such as the creation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the strengthening of Universal Credit are welcome, further support will be needed if we’re to see a return in the years ahead to the economic success our area has enjoyed in recent times.
“Crawley is one of the economic powerhouses of our region, with its impact being felt right across the south east of England.
“The knock-on effects of COVID-19 go far beyond affecting any one community, the aviation sector affects people throughout West Sussex. We’re calling for support for the sector as this issue affects all those other airport workers including security staff, baggage handlers, and employees at the countless shops and restaurants no longer operating.
“With the right support, they’ll be able to go back to work, we’ll see customers boarding planes again, and Gatwick can return to its rightful place as West Sussex’s gateway to the world.”
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the Crawley economy had grown by 23 per cent from 2013 to 2020; the highest in West Sussex, contributing over a quarter of the county’s economic output, despite being just two per cent of the landmass.
This letter has been signed by all West Sussex Members of Parliament who are not serving Government ministers.
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