Airports Commission to launch new public consultation on Gatwick and Heathrow expansion

7 May 2015 (Last Updated May 7th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Airports Commission will launch a public consultation to seek their opinion on the proposed expansion of Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

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The UK Airports Commission will launch a public consultation to seek their opinion on the proposed expansion of Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

The move comes weeks after the Supreme Court ordered the UK Government to streamline its efforts to control air pollution that have been crossing the limits set by the European Union. .

The consultation is being initiated to avoid a potential legal challenge to the three-year review by the commission headed by Sir Howard Davies, reported the Financial Times.

Established in September 2012 to explore how the country can improve airport capacity, the commission released its interim report in November 2014.

The report was criticised by environmentalists over its failure to draw specific conclusions on air quality.

The latest move to seek public opinion is expected to draw flake from the airline industry, which has been seeking an early decision on the matter.

Recently, around 60 MPs demanded a quick decision from the next government on expanding either of the airports.

A new runway at Heathrow is estimated to cost up to £18.6bn and up to £9.3bn at Gatwick.

The British airports are in an immediate need for expansion with the Heathrow airport already having reached its capacity.

Submission of public comments will finish by the month end, and the commission is expected to deliver its report by June.


Image: The Airport Commission's recommendation has been delayed several times by successive governments. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick Airport.