No decision on new runway ‘a real possibility’, says Boris advisorPosted: February 6, 2015
A lack of commitment from politicians is likely to thwart any proposal made by the Airports Commission, Boris Johnson’s aviation advisor has warned.
Kensington & Chelsea councillor Daniel Moylan said after two-and-a-half years of debating the issue he was left feeling “gloomy” at the prospect of any action being taken to boost capacity.
“I don’t actually think that as a result of the commission’s work anything determinable is going to happen. And it is quite possible that there will be no decisions made at all to have an additional runway in the south-east as a consequence of what the commission has done,” he said at a conference organised by the Westminster Energy Environment and Transport Forum.
Any proposal would likely come up against plenty of opposition and would therefore require a high degree of commitment from the government, something that Moylan believes is lacking at the moment.
“I don’t see any of the parties going into the current election have got that level of commitment, and sadly I don’t see that the commission has actually succeeded in generating that sort of commitment.”
“I don’t actually think that as a result of the commission’s work anything determinable is going to happen”
With Boris Johnson bowing out as mayor of London in 2016, Moylan believes the next person in charge will be less friendly to aviation.
“I think it is pretty clear on the evidence of London politics so far that there will be cross-party opposition to expansion at Heathrow,” said Moylan.
“I think therefore we can make a reasonable assumption that whoever is elected there after Boris [Johnson]… they’re going to be opposed to expansion at Heathrow.”
Both Moyalan and Johnson backed a rival scheme dubbed “Boris Island”, which would have seen a new airport built to the east of London. The commission, however, said the plan was unviable. It was not included in the shortlist.
The Airports Commission’s consultation on the three shortlisted proposals closed last week with more than 50,000 individuals and organisations submitting a response.
In its response, the CAA called on the aviation industry and decision makers to be more ambitious in confronting environmental challenges.
“It cannot be right that we expect to be able to build more runway capacity without the industry making big improvements to how it minimises its impact on its neighbours,” said Andrew Haines, chief executive of the CAA.
The five-member panel lead by Sir Howard Davies will now weigh up the evidence in order to make a decision by the summer.
Sourced from TTG Digital