Commercial lobbying, not common sense is leading the aviation debate

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the proposed recommendations from Sir Howard Davies on expanding airport aviation, said:

“For the Davies Commission to advocate a third Heathrow runway in its proposed options means that it lacks any credibility in going forward.

“There is a great deal of spare aviation capacity in London and the South East. By showing so little interest in an intelligent use of this spare capacity the Davies inquiry has totally lost its way.”

“It seems commercial lobbying, not commonsense is now leading this debate.”

Research for the London Assembly has shown:

  • at Stansted Airport: 47 per cent of runway slots are available
  • at Luton Airport: 51 per cent of runway slots are available
  • at Gatwick Airport: 12 per cent of runway slots are currently available
  • at Heathrow Airport: at 99 per cent capacity, Heathrow’s runway capacity is nearly full, but some evidence submitted suggests increasing aircraft size would allow it to increase capacity without an additional runway