Westminster Transport Forum – Heathrow expansion, the alternatives and the new UK aviation strategy

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A shift in political doctrine suggests that the UK government will now struggle to get Parliament to approve a third runway at London Heathrow Airport in 2018, and Gatwick Airport is sniffing a chance to resubmit its case for a second runway instead. In that context delegates congregated for discussions at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London in Sep-2017 to hear from the two protagonists and other airport operators, as well as from politicians, government officials, surface transport and ATM representatives, and to pose questions from the floor.

For as long as the debate over enhanced runway capacity in the southeast of England has lasted – six decades – there has yet to be a definitive decision made at government level, and it is looking to be 50:50 at best that one will be made in 2018.

This event highlighted the continuing divisions based around location, industry needs, local and national economics, and environmental concerns. It also gave an opportunity for delegates to hear about the government’s new aviation review, one that actually has already begun, which will reposition the criteria for airport expansion in favour of the regions, as opposed to the southeast of the UK.

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