Well, Sir Howard Davies report came out first thing this morning and London’s Heathrow Airport is the preferred choice with Gatwick not totally ruled out!
Next week in London there is an airports conference that thetraveltrunk.net will be attending where the likes of Sir Howard Davies will be attending along with bosses of many UK airports too.
Getting answers after these airports movers and shakers have had time to digest the full report will be interesting so please come back and find out what the latest news will be.
Gatwick with its one runway does certainly need the chance to expand and grow as its boss Stewart Wingate admits and in terms of their expansion it would be a relatively easy task to undertake as the airport has the land and is ready to go.
Whereas at Heathrow a third runway for them will require a runway to be built over part of the national motorway system and the total demolition of nearly 800 homes in the nearby village of Harmondsworth.
Some politicians are set against any expansion at Heathrow and that includes the Prime Minister Mr. Cameron. London Mayor Boris Johnson is against it even before Boris also became an MP and represents the constituency of Uxbridge which is not that far away from Heathrow. Boris’s father is a travel writer so it must be interesting to wonder what their conversations are about when they meet up?
In financial terms Heathrow with its third runway could bring a £150bn boost to the UK’s GDP over the next 60 years and around 70,000 new jobs could be created too. The cost to expand to get that third runway is thought to be around £17bn.
Working, as the UK’s major hub airport, connectivity to Heathrow is vital. Being able to easily fly in and out from other regional airports is a key area of its potential growth and having a third runway will give it that ability. Plus there are many air freight companies based around the airport which is something Sir Howard Davies looked at too.
Although Sir Howard Davies report does still give Gatwick a chance the report does mention a whole list of conditions for the Heathrow expansion and they are:
- A ban on all scheduled night flights from 11.30pm to 6am
- No fourth runway – the government should make a firm commitment in parliament not to expand further. Davies states: “There is no sound operational or environmental case for a fourth runway”
- A legally binding “noise envelope”
- A noise levy on airport users to compensate local communities
- A legal commitment on air quality (details to be announced, compliant with EU limits)
- A community engagement board to let local people have a say
- An independent aviation noise authority to be consulted on flight paths and operating procedures at airports
- Training and apprenticeships for local people