The Airports Commission has released the results of its study on expanding airport passenger capacity in the Southeast of England. The Sir Howard Davies led committee says adding an extra runway at Heathrow Airport is the best option.
The commission decided a third Heathrow runway offered the best means of generating economic growth for the region. Despite the recommendation, the committee says it needs to come with a few provisos including the pledge of never building a fourth runway.
The commission says the government should also commit to a blanket ban on night flights and raise funds from airport usage levies to insulate homes in the vicinity. Commenting on the committee’s findings, Sir Howard explained that while adding an extra runway at Gatwick Airport was a viable option, that facility would not be able to serve long-haul flights and would therefore not trigger any economic expansion.
He continued by saying that Heathrow with an extra runway had the capacity to create 70,000 jobs over the next 35 years and would inject £147 billion into the UK’s economy. This runway will allow Heathrow to eventually open another 40 long-haul routes.
The Airports Commission plumped for Heathrow even though it requires the demolition of almost 800 houses in Harmondsworth. The commission also rejected the option of lengthening the two current runways in favour of a brand new one on the north side of the complex.
The prime-minister’s office says it has received the Airports Commission report, but wants to study it thoroughly before making any rash decisions. Both David Cameron and London mayor Boris Johnson have been vehement in their opposition of building a third Heathrow runway.