UK airport expansion likely to face further delays

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

The final report of the Davies Commission regarding the expansion of UK airports, due to be completed by the end of this month is unlikely to draw an immediate response from ministers.

gatwick

The final report of the Davies Commission regarding the expansion of UK airports, due to be completed by the end of this month is unlikely to draw an immediate response from ministers.

The senior ministers might not respond to the final recommendation until before Christmas, further deferring the long delayed airport expansion project, reported the Financial Times quoting unidentified government sources.

The move is likely to come as a blow to aviation executives who have been expecting an early decision on the expansion.

"It is therefore obvious that we need additional capacity."

The Airports Commission started deliberations over the best expansion option for the UK, around three years ago. It has shortlisted three options, a new runway at Heathrow, expanding an existing runway at Heathrow or building a second runway at Gatwick.

Recently, a group of 100 UK businesses wrote a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron asking for a prompt decision regarding the expansion.

Pro airport expansion group Let Britain Fly director Gavin Hayes said: "The political procrastination should stop as Heathrow has already been full for a decade, while Gatwick and all of London's airports will reach their capacity by 2020, and by the end of the next decade, respectively.

"It is therefore obvious that we need additional capacity. Yet it has already taken the best part of three years for a government commission to conclude that London needs one new runway by 2030.

"The urgency of the situation requires the government to grasp the moment and respond to the Airports Commission's final report in a timely manner and get on and make a swift decision to build a new runway."

According to the publication, the six-month period to respond to the Davies Commission will generate anxiety for the Department for Transport officials, who seek a speedier decision.

The Department for Transport refused to comment on the report.


Image: The expansion of UK airports has already been delayed several times due to change in governments. Photo: courtesy of Gatwick Airport.