UK’s ITC report supports airport expansion plans at Gatwick or Heathrow

6 March 2016 (Last Updated March 6th, 2016 18:30)

A report from the UK's Independent Transport Commission (ITC) has reported that noise, carbon emissions (CO2) and local air quality issues should not hinder expansion plans at Gatwick or Heathrow airport.

A report from the UK's Independent Transport Commission (ITC) has reported that noise, carbon emissions (CO2) and local air quality issues should not hinder expansion plans at Gatwick or Heathrow airport.

Titled 'The sustainability of UK Aviation: Trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions', the report states that there have been significant improvements made to alleviate noise, CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions caused due to flight movements.

In December 2015, the UK Government decided to conduct further analysis on these issues before giving permission for the airport expansion plans.

The ITC commissioned a report to analyse the expansion improvements related to the concerns.

"The ITC research demonstrates that sustainability concerns should not stop the UK realising the great additional benefits that increased connectivity can provide."

Research conducted by aviation sustainability experts Peter Hind and RDC Aviation Limited reveals that technological improvements will be able to mitigate the rise in noise, and CO2 and NOx pollution.

The report claims that significant improvements have been made in these areas over the last 30 years and are likely to continue in the future.

ITC commissioner and aviation working group chairperson Dr Stephen Hickey said: "Having reviewed these important sustainability issues in-depth, it is clear that the environmental challenges of limiting the carbon emissions, noise and local air quality impacts are not insurmountable.

"Whether the government pursues the proposal to expand Gatwick or Heathrow, the ITC research demonstrates that sustainability concerns should not stop the UK realising the great additional benefits that increased connectivity can provide.

"The findings suggest that noise and local air quality impacts can be managed downwards given the right mix of operational, policy and technological development, while incremental improvements in carbon emission output are being delivered on an annual basis."

The ITC research programme states that airport expansion is vital for the development of trade and productivity, as well asincreasing employment.