Reports are circulating that the Airports Commission led by Sir Howard Davies will present a shortlist of options for runway expansion that all involve Heathrow. The report in the Guardian based on claims by anti-Heathrow MP Zac Goldsmith, suggests that Sir Howard’s interim report, due on December 17, will suggest several options, all of which involve extra runways at Heathrow, one of which also involves an extra runway at Gatwick.
Supporters of Heathrow will be cheered by the reports, if still nervous of the economic disaster that closure of the UK’s current number one airport could bring to the area, emphasised by a report released earlier suggesting over a quarter of a million jobs could go if Heathrow were to close.
Boris Johnson, known for his support of a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary, reacting to the news, told the Evening Standard: “Howard Davies surely understands that a 24-hour hub airport to the east of London, preferably the site at Grain, represents the best chance for this country to compete with our Continental rivals.”
The Mayor of London expressed his resolve to fight the recommendation, if it turned out to favour Heathrow. The debate is likely to continue whatever Sir Howard recommends.