Airports Commission’s new consultation to seek public feedback on air quality

10 May 2015 (Last Updated May 10th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Airports Commission has reopened its consultation to receive public feedback on the air quality assessment of the proposed expansion plans of three airports.

heathrow

The UK Airports Commission has reopened its consultation to receive public feedback on the air quality assessment of the proposed expansion plans of the three additional option short-listed in its 'Interim report'.

The airports commission's decision follows a Supreme Court ruling that said that Britain had been failing consistently to meet European Union limits and needed to do more to control air pollution in the past several years.

With the launch of public consultation both the Gatwick and Heathrow airport have said why an expansion at their respective airports would be more feasible for the country's future.

Heathrow airport said in a statement that it had claims to have outlined a comprehensive air quality mitigation strategy for expansion that would include a strategy for extensive surface access that would help in reducing airport-related road traffic.

"In contrast, Gatwick has never breached legal air quality limits and its location means it can guarantee that it never will."

The move is expected to help reduce air pollution. The airport stated that it had taken initiatives and had succeeded in cutting down its emissions by 16% in the past five years.

It said that the airport's investments had ensured that 40% of its passengers arrived at the airport by using public transport, which would further increase with the arrival of Crossrail in 2019 and the upgrade of the Piccadilly line.

However, the Guardian reported that the election had resulted in the return of a group of anti-Heathrow Conservative MPs to the government.

Cashing in on the current situation, Gatwick airport said that the area around Heathrow currently breaches legal air quality limits and called air quality to be a showstopper for the airport.

The airport said in a statement: "In contrast, Gatwick has never breached legal air quality limits and its location means it can guarantee that it never will.

This decision is about the economy and the environment. Gatwick's plan is simpler, cheaper, faster and quieter - above all it can actually happen.," the airport said in a release.

The airports commission is expected to present its recommendations about the expansion of either of the airports in the next eight weeks.


Image: The new consultation is a result of the Supreme Court blaming Britain of breaching EU air quality regulations. Photo: courtesy of Heathrow Airport.