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  6. Coalition sets up airports capacity review

Coalition sets up airports capacity review

The Government has asked Sir Howard Davies to chair an independent commission which will identify and recommend to options for maintaining the UK’s status as an international hub for aviation.

The Commission will:

  • examine the scale and timing of any requirement for additional capacity to maintain the UK’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub
  • identify and evaluate how any need for additional capacity should be met in the short-, medium- and long-term

The Commission will compile an interim report for ministers no later than the end of 2013 setting out its assessment of the evidence on the nature, scale and timing of the steps needed to maintain the UK’s global hub status.

This preliminary report will recommend immediate actions to improve the use of existing runway capacity in the next five years – consistent with credible long-term options.

The Commission will then publish by the summer of 2015 a final report, for consideration by both the Government and the Opposition.

This will provide an assessment of the options for meeting the UK’s international connectivity needs, including their economic, social and environmental impact as well as its recommendation(s) for the optimum approach to meeting any need.

The final report will also provide the context and material to help the Government prepare a National Policy Statement on aviation for planning purposes.

The government has stressed that any decision on new capacity at any existing airport or the development of new facilities will be taken by the next administration post 2015.

View the full written statement by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

Roger Milne

13 September 2012