London Heathrow third runway recommended by the UK Airports Commission

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore July 1, 2015 12:49

London Heathrow third runway recommended by the UK Airports Commission

The final report of the UK Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, has recommended building a third runway at Heathrow to create new routes to foreign markets, benefit passengers, and boost the economy.

The publication of the report has unsurprisingly led to countless reactions for and against from a wide variety of interested parties, including MPs. The Transport Secretary has confirmed in Parliament today that a formal response to the Commission’s recommendation will be forthcoming in the autumn with a number of MPs pressing for a speedy decision.

Kevin Gibbs, Partner At Law Firm Bond Dickinson, says that if the Heathrow runway recommendation is accepted, “the likely next step is to draft and consult on an airports National Policy Statement (NPS) under the Planning Act 2008 rather than use a hybrid Act procedure, such as used for HS2, which the Transport Secretary accepts has been delayed. A Development Consent Order application could be worked up whilst an NPS is being prepared but it would still take two to three years before there is a consent for the south east.

“A key part of Sir Howard’s recommendations are the restrictions he has sought to place on Heathrow. These include an 11:30 to 06:00 night time ATM ban, replacing what is now a night time quota system which bans the noisiest aircraft but allows 24 hour operation within the quota limits. Whilst this and other restrictions may impact on Heathrow’s competitiveness, it is my opinion that the proposed conditions will assist in making the Heathrow proposal more palatable, though the anti-Heathrow campaigners appear not to have been placated.

The recommendation has also been greeted favourably from the Institute Of Directors (IoD), which stated that there is a “clear business case for a new runway… When asked to choose which of London’s major airports should get a new runway, 61% of IoD members chose Heathrow, compared to 39% who chose Gatwick. The Airports Commission has recommended strong environmental and noise protections at Heathrow, and believes expansion can bring economic benefits while limiting the impact on those living nearby. The report recognises that there is also a good case for a second runway at Gatwick, which would help promote competition, and this should be kept as an option for the future.”

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore July 1, 2015 12:49