8-Aug-2013 1:09 PM

Airports Commission publishes proposals for UK airport capacity, pressing ahead to narrow options

UK's Airports Commission published (07-Aug-2013) a paper outlining the short and medium term measures submitted to inform its deliberations on how to make best use of existing airport capacity. The 50 entries include Heathrow's three third runway options and Gatwick's proposal for a second runway to the south of the current site. The commission also released the long-term proposals submitted for new runways, airports and infrastructure changes, designed to strengthen the UK’s air connections with the world. Howard Davies, chair of the Airports Commission, said, “The proposals that we have received and that we have published today demonstrate imaginative and thoughtful responses to the challenges that the Airports Commission has been set, but also show clearly the wide spectrum of views that exist on these issues.” The Airports Commission, which examines the need for additional UK airport capacity and recommends to government how this can be met in the short, medium and long term, has invited parties to submit comments on all the documents published on 07-Aug-2013 from now until 27-Sep-2013. Any comments received will be considered alongside the proposals. Mr Davies noted, “The timetable to comment is tight, as we need to move quickly to winnow down the options and reduce uncertainty for potentially affected communities. I encourage everyone with an interest to make their views known, to help inform our recommendations on these complex and important questions". The short and medium term summary paper covers a range of proposals with recurring themes, such as the importance of resilience in the UK’s airport system and of taking into account the noise and carbon emissions from any measures proposed. These proposals will be analysed alongside any evidence and views submitted over the coming months. 
The Airports Commission will make its recommendations to government on short and medium term options in its interim report at the end of 2013. The commission has also published an information note that gives details on the processes and timings that may be established in Phase 2 of the commission’s work, should its interim report conclude that a significant increase in aviation capacity is needed. This is to inform all interested parties of the likely timeframes for any work that may need to be undertaken in Phase 2. Short-term options are those that could be delivered without the provision of additional runways or terminals, within five years of the publication of the commission’s interim report in Dec-2013. Medium-term options do not require the provision of additional runways or terminals either, but may need more than five years to deliver.  [more - original PR - submitting organisation] [more - original PR - proposals] [more - original PR - Cover Note]

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