Heathrow or Gatwick? Abta wants new runways at both

Heathrow control tower

By Rob Gill,

Abta has called for the Airports Commission to recommend new runways at both Heathrow and Gatwick.

Flights into and out of Heathrow have been worst hit by the power outage

The commission’s 12-week public consultation process is set to end on February 3 before the Sir Howard Davies-led panel considers whether to recommend expansion at Heathrow or Gatwick. Its final report is due to be published in June, after the general election.

But Abta is calling for the next government to give the go-ahead for new runways at both airports to meet “growing passenger demand” with “market forces and passenger demand dictating which runway is built first”.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Increasing airport capacity is essential to the UK’s growth and global competitiveness; urgent action is needed.

“The Airports Commission has identified the need for two additional runways in the south-east by 2050, and their detailed and extensive work should be used by the government to produce a long-term vision for the UK’s aviation industry to 2050.

“This should involve planning permission for an additional runway at both Gatwick and Heathrow.

“Delivering either option will come with its challenges, and both airports will have a responsibility to bring the airlines, their passengers, and the local communities affected, along with them on their expansion journey.”

Abta carried out research through ComRes, which revealed that 70% of MPs, agreed that the UK “risks being left competitively behind if a plan to increase airport capacity is not adopted in the next year”.

The association has also highlighted the “importance of well-connected regional airports, as well as efficient and resilient surface access to airports” in its submission to the commission.

Sourced by TTG Digital

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