Mr. Davies, the head of the Airport Commission is considering 58 proposals,from runway extensions to developing green-field sites and aims to release an interim report in December. The target is for a final report in 2015, Davies said in his first current statements since his appointment.
The commission hopes to produce one option, and in addition to the proposals received, it is considering ideas that were not submitted to them such as connecting Heathrow and Gatwick with a high-speed rail link.
Do that now – we say.
Mr. Davies did say Heathrow and Gatwick may be allowed to build runways to meet expected growth in demand for air travel.
The background to this issue is that it is accepted as fact that flight capacity is approaching capacity at London’s airports, with Gatwick and Heathrow particularly pressed.
Heathrow Airport Ltd. submitted three plans to the commission, each capable of delivering extra flights at a cost of up to 18 billion pounds. The proposals would boost the number of people using the hub to 123 million to 130 million from 80 million today.
But Heathrow is located in an inconvenient location being positioned on potentially very valuable and useful real estate and with a flight path right over central and affluent (and influential) West London.
Boris Johnson would like to shut Heathrow completely and develop a new airport in the Thames estuary with an estimated cost of £65 billion. Boris would also propose to develop Stanstead Airport to the north of London into a hub. The obvious benefit if the Johnson proposal is the 1,220-hectare Heathrow site situated on prime West London land homes for up to 250,000 people.
Gatwick is the world’s busiest single-runway airport and has identified alternatives for constructing a new landing strip to the south of the existing one. Gatwick estimate that it could add a second runway for around 5 billion pounds, this would eliminate the need for a single U.K. hub.
So what will the future bring? Watch this space…