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Airports Commission Report On Heathrow Expansion Out Today

But Still A Long Way To Go Say Planning Experts At Irwin Mitchell


Karen Roberts, Press Officer | 0207 400 8714

The Airports Commission has today submitted its final report to the newly formed Government, setting out its recommendations for additional runway capacity.

The report has favoured Heathrow over two other shortlisted options, arguing this offered Britain the best way of adding long haul routes to new markets which it said are urgently required. It states that adding capacity at Heathrow provides the greatest benefits for business passengers, freight operators and the broader economy and also provides an opportunity to change the airport's relationship with its local communities.

The Airports Commission admits that expanding Heathrow would mean many more people affected by noise compared to expanding Gatwick and therefore the report states that the new runway should come with severe restrictions to reduce the environmental and noise effects. The report has made it clear that the airport must operate in a very different way in the future if it is to gain enough support from its local communities to expand.

With regards to the other two options, a second runway at Gatwick was seen as a credible option but was less able to provide connections to long-haul destinations and would create lower levels of economic growth. The third option for extending the present runways at Heathrow was rejected as it provides a smaller increase in capacity and is less attractive from a noise and air quality perspective.

The Airports Commission has urged the Government “not to prolong this process and to move as quickly as it can to a decision as further delay will be increasingly costly and will be seen, nationally and internationally, as a sign that the UK is unwilling or unable to take the steps needed to maintain its position as a well-connected, open trading economy in the twenty-first century”. It has taken the Airports Commission already 2 and a half years to review the evidence and produce its final report.

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