December 7 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 7, 2013
The man in charge of the commission looking into the future of airports in Britain said it is inevitable new capacity will be needed to serve London and the south east.
Sir Howard Davies said pressure on the UK’s busiest airports was likely to continue to grow ‘even if we take a more conservative view of future aviation demand than the Department for Transport has in the past’.
Speaking in London today he said all the factors point to the need for new runway infrastructure in the coming decades, saying relying on existing ones would be ‘a distinctly sub-optimal solution for passengers’.
His commission is due to make an interim report before the end of the year with short-term recommendations using existing aviation infrastructure, before a full report to be published after the May 2015 general election.
Sir Howard, a former CBI chief and a former head of the Financial Services Association, said: “Our final conclusions will certainly not please everyone. I am sure about that.”
Labour had initially approved a third runway at Heathrow, but this plan was scrapped by the coalition government when it took power in May 2010.
Boris Johnson favours a new four-runway hub airport in the Thames Estuary or expanding Stansted, while there has also been backing for another runway at Gatwick.
Sir Howard said he hoped the commission would be able to put forward one main option in his final report, but admitted no one single option could cover absolutely every contingency, and it maybe the resulting solution is new runways at more than one existing airport.
He refused to be drawn on where an extra runway should be built, although he acknowledged the Heathrow third runway option was ‘on the table’.