The Mayor of London has confirmed the criteria that he will be using to evaluate options for expanding London’s aviation capacity.
His six criteria cover: Economic impact, airport infrastructure, airspace, surface access, environmental impact, and deliverability.
He proposed the criteria and has now put them through a consultation, and will use them to evaluate the options ahead of his submission to the Davies Review, which could decide to rule out expansion at Heathrow – a move which many believe would force the closure of the airport and the loss of up to 250,000 jobs in west London.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The whole question of airport capacity in this country is one of critical importance, and it is vital that we get to the right answer as soon as possible. While we debate, our global rivals are streaking ahead and leaving us in the dust.”
Daniel Moylan, the Mayor of London’s advisor on aviation, said: “It is imperative that we elevate the airport capacity debate in this country above vested interests and guarantee any analysis of options has the nation’s best interests at heart. Proper criteria are an important tool in achieving that, and the Mayor’s list will allow us to evaluate all the proposals fairly. We must ensure that the UK secures maximum economic and regenerative benefit from what is a crucial decision on infrastructure, the results of which could echo for generations to come.”
The Mayor will also be submitting his criteria to the Davies Commission for them to use in their work.
The Mayor proposes to announce in the coming weeks the short-list of sites he will be commissioning feasibility studies on.
Meanwhile, London First has issued a statement in suppport of expansion at existing airports, as the pace of the debate icreases.
They say they believe the situation is urgent, anf that London is at a competitive disadvantage now.
They believe that the Airports Commission must offer short-term proposals for increasing long-haul flights that can be immediately set in motion, which they think means amending the current cap on Air Traffic Movements at Heathrow and enabling “mixed mode” runway use. They also think greater competition between London’s airports would spur the use of spare capacity, which would require deregulating Gatwick and Stansted.
They say: “London needs additional runways, to provide capacity and further competition, as a matter of urgency. All options have their strengths and weaknesses. Our analysis is that a third runway at Heathrow and a second runway at Gatwick are the most practicable means of meeting this objective. Both proposals have been put forward by the private sector and would not require public funding.”