Could Gatwick Airport become Croydon International?

That is the plan of one London councillor who believes the airport should be named after the south London town.

Steve O’Connell, Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, put forward the idea at the Greater London Assembly’s transport committee while backing a second runway at Gatwick.

He said: “Gatwick is 15 minutes from East Croydon, it is seen as a London airport and Croydon with the investment coming in is fast becoming the economic powerhouse of the south.

"So it would make sense to me to make even more of a closer alignment between greater Croydon and Gatwick, build a new runway – probably after 2020 – and then align it with Croydon.

“It becomes the London airport of the south. Croydon is the economic powerhouse of the south, so it is Croydon International Airport.

“We are flying the idea up the flag- pole and we’ll see where it takes us.

“You go to cities where there are airports that aren’t in the town itself, they are just outside. There is New York Airport.

"So it doesn’t have to be slap-bang in the middle of London to be a London Airport. Stansted is London Stansted so let’s have London Croydon.”

Crawley Borough Council leader Bob Lanzer said he welcomed the suggestion but believed it would remove the history of both sites.

He added: “I think it detracts from the history of Croydon with its own background having the first airport.

“I would not want to take that away from them.

“And Gatwick has its own history being the first airport built with an integrated railway station.”

Coun Lanzer said he was also against a second runway, saying “one was enough”.

When asked whether the airport should be renamed Crawley International he added: “I would have to give it some thought but I am happy enough with it being called Gatwick.

“It will save a lot of effort and cost in changing all the systems and signs.”