March 9 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The option of expanding Stansted airport has not been included in a shortlist of proposals published by the Airports Commission this morning.
Instead, a new, third, runway at Heathrow moved a step closer after a Government-appointed commission chose the west London airport as one of its expansion options.
In an interim report, the Airports Commission, headed by former Financial Services Authority chief Sir Howard Davies, also put an extra, second, runway at Gatwick airport in West Sussex on to its short list.
In addition, Sir Howard’s team kept the door open for a Thames Estuary airport scheme, favoured by London mayor Boris Johnson, with the commission saying it will look further at the Isle of Grain airport option in the first half of next year.
But the commission has not shortlisted proposals for expansion at either Stansted airport in Essex or at Birmingham Airport, but said that there was likely to be a case for considering Stansted and Birmingham as potential options for any second new runway by 2050.
The commission said it had concluded “there is a need for one net additional runway to be in operation in the South East by 2030”.
It added that its analysis also indicated “that there is likely to be a demand case for a second additional runway to be operational by 2050”.
Sir Howard’s team said it would be taking forward for further detailed study proposals for new runways at two locations:
- Gatwick: Gatwick Airport Ltd’s proposal for a new runway to the south of the existing runway;
- Heathrow (two options): Heathrow Airport Ltd’s proposal for one new 3,500-metre (11,500ft) runway to the north west and Heathrow Hub’s proposal to extend the existing northern runway to at least 6,000 metres (20,000ft), enabling the extended runway to operate as two independent runways.
The interim report was welcomed by bosses of Heathrow and Gatwick, with Stansted’s owners saying they were pleased that the airport was being considered for expansion after 2030.
Charlie Cornish, chief executive of the Manchester Airports Group, which operates Stansted, said: “Stansted welcomes the commission’s support for measures to increase capacity at the airport in the short term, including improving rail links between the airport and central London. We also support the Commission’s finding that Stansted is one of the viable options for a runway beyond 2030.
“Stansted has a bright future, indeed we are the only London airport that can grow substantially in the next ten years. Since we took ownership in February this year we have already signed up new airlines and destinations to meet growing passenger demand. Our immediate priority is to continue to transform the airport experience for our passengers.
“As London continues to grow to the East and high-tech industries along the London to Cambridge corridor grow Britain’s economy, Stansted has a critical role to play in supporting the country’s economic growth. At the right time we will bring forward proposals for a second runway at the airport to support this growth.”
While the Stop Stansted Expansion group was thrilled the Essex airport was left off the immediate short list, the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign greeted news of Gatwick’s appearance on the short list with dismay.