Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Good news for stop Stansted expansion

campaign STOP Stansted Expansion has welcomed the Davies Commission announcement this morning (Tuesday, December 17) that a second runway should not be built at the Essex airport before 2050. Instead the independent review of aviation capacity has concluded there is a need for one additional runway to be in operation in the south east of the UK by 2030 – and it should be at Heathrow or Gatwick. Brian Ross, SSE's economics adviser, said after Stansted failed to make the shortlist: "We are obviously greatly relieved. "The environmental consequences of even one extra runway would have been catastrophic and the fact is that there has never been a viable business case for any extra runways at Stansted. The airport currently operates at less than half of its potential capacity. "We must now show solidarity with the communities around Heathrow and Gatwick and support their efforts in resisting the threat that they now face." Later this morning commission leader Sir Howard Davies will explain his panel's interim report in full at a meeting in London. However he and his team have concluded that the best way forward in the medium term is growth at one of the country's two biggest airports. Gatwick has proposed a new landing strip south of its existing runway while Heathrow has put forward two options. It could build a completely new runway to the north west or expand the existing northern runway to enable it to operate as two independent runways. The next phase of the commission's work will entail a detailed appraisal of the three options identified before a public consultation in autumn next year. The panel said it had not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options like 'Boris Island' because there were too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage. However it will undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other short-listed options. Sir Howard's team said it had not shortlisted proposals for expansion at Stansted – touted as an alternative four runway super-hub for the country – or Birmingham. However it confirmed there is likely to be a case for considering them as potential options for any second new runway by 2050. Launching the report Sir Howard said: "Decisions on airport capacity are important national strategic choices and must be based upon the best evidence available. The commission has undertaken a fresh, comprehensive and transparent study of the issues. This report is the product of extensive consultation, independent analysis and careful consideration by the commissioners. "The UK enjoys excellent connectivity today. The capacity challenge is not yet critical but it will become so if no action is taken soon and our analysis clearly supports the provision of one net additional runway by 2030. In the meantime we encourage the government to act on our recommendations to make the best of our existing capacity." With thanks to teh Harlow Star article at http://www.harlowstar.co.uk/News/Harlow-news/Airports-Commission-rules-out-second-Stansted-runway-before-2050-20131217082330.htm

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