UK Airports Commission to examine airspace expansion plans

4 November 2012 (Last Updated November 4th, 2012 18:30)

The UK Government has named five members to join the independent commission, chaired by former Financial Services Authority chief Sir Howard Davies, to examine airport expansion plans in the country and recommend options for maintaining its status as a global aviation hub.

The UK Government has named five members to join the independent commission, chaired by former Financial Services Authority chief Sir Howard Davies, to examine airport expansion plans in the country and recommend options for maintaining its status as a global aviation hub.

The team include academics and aviation experts who will identify and evaluate how any need for additional capacity should be met in the short, medium and long term while maintaining a UK-wide perspective.

Airports Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies said that the team chosen has the range of skills and experience required to drive forward the important work the commission is undertaking.

"With open minds, we will take time to explore the evidence, consider the options and aim to develop a lasting solution to the nation's aviation needs," Davies said.

On 7 September 2012, the UK Government announced a plan to create an independent commission to be chaired by Davies and now it has outlined the scope of the commission saying that an interim report should be submitted by the end of 2013.

The recommendation could include the improvement of its existing runway capacity over the next five years.

According to the UK Government, the commission should submit its report by 2015, which could include options for meeting the country's international connectivity requirement, including their economic, and social and environmental impact.

UK Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that aviation is vital to the country's economy and country needs a long-term aviation policy, which meets the challenges of the future.

"The recommendation could include the improvement of its existing runway capacity over the next five years."

"Sir Howard and his team will now take forward this vitally important work for the government and bring a much-needed fresh perspective to the debate," McLoughlin said.

Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate said that the detailed work and analysis on how to maintain the UK's status as an international aviation hub can now really begin.

"At Gatwick we have already announced that we are beginning detailed studies on the options for a second runway," Wingate said.

"A new runway at Gatwick could be more affordable and practical than other options and give passengers a greater choice of routes to key destinations."