The Mayor of London has told the Davies Review that there are “no short term options to increase capacity at Heathrow”.
The Mayor has submitted papers to the Government’s aviation commission. He said that he believes any increase in flights would breach the cap of 480,000 air traffic movements imposed on the site under planning law.
He argues that, since changing that cap would take several years and possibly a public inquiry, a new airport offers the best opportunity for addressing the country’s increasing aviation crisis. The Mayor majors in his submission on the idea that a new airport could, in his view, be delivered as fast as a third runway at Heathrow.
He also says that a firm decision must be made on a long term aviation policy before any pursuit of short or medium term measures.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Heathrow is full, it is straining at the seams and we need to deliver a new hub airport with at least four runways, which can put the UK in a strong position for the next 50 years.”
The Mayor’s response makes a series of points, including his view that seeking to slice the question into “short, medium and long term” solutions is not an appropriate approach, that the long term aim must be developing a new hub airport.
The Mayor of London’s aviation advisor, Daniel Moylan, added: “The top priority has to be to achieve clarity on the long term policy for aviation in the UK. Only when we have that clarity should we begin to consider the different options for helping to cover the period until that policy is delivered. In the short term some non-hub London airports may be able to help serve long haul traffic. And we could also then look at possibly extending the ‘fifth freedom’ rights, which allow foreign airlines to stop at our airports and pick up passengers while en route elsewhere, to Gatwick or Stansted. However those measures would in no way alter the need for an effective and sustainable long term solution in the form of a new hub airport.”