Davies Rules Out 'No Runway' Option For South-East

Says at least one new runway will be needed in future

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Airports’ Commission chief Sir Howard Davies has ruled out a no runway option for the south-east.

In a keynote speech in London the head of the government-appointed commission investigating the airports issue argued that at least one new runway will be needed in London and the South East in the coming decades to cope with rising demand from business and leisure travellers.

Sir Howard said: "Our provisional conclusion is that we will need some net additional runway capacity in the south-east of England in the coming decades. To rely only on runways currently in operation would be likely to produce a distinctly sub-optimal solution for passengers, connectivity and the economy, and would also almost certainly not be the best solution in terms of minimising the overall carbon impact of flights and travel to and from airports.

"A mechanism for managing the carbon impacts of aviation will be needed if the UK is to achieve its statutory carbon targets."

However, he argued that any growth needed to be within the climate change targets set by the Committee on Climate Change, the Government’s advisers.   

The Commission is on course to produce its interim report in December where it will shortlist options for new runways or airports that it will want to examine in more detail.  Its final report will be published in summer 2015, two months after the next General Election.

HACAN chair John Stewart said, “Residents in London and the South East will be disappointed that a no runway solution has been ruled out at this early stage.  At Heathrow we will continue to argue that a third runway would cause unacceptable levels of noise and community destruction.”


October 8, 2013