Airport rivals hear direct from Davies at Aviation Summit

Posted: 17 December 2013 | Runways UK | No comments yet

Sir Howard Davies is to deliver a keynote address early in the New Year at the first major 2014 aviation summit…

Sir Howard Davies – the man who holds the key to the future of UK aviation capacity – is to deliver a keynote address early in the New Year at the first major 2014 aviation summit to take place following publication of his Interim Report today.

Sir Howard, who chairs the Airports Commission charged by Government with looking into the future of Britain’s airports, has chosen to attend Runways UK, a one-day conference providing an independent platform for debating of the short-listed options which is being held in London on Thursday January 16th.

Confirmation that Sir Howard will be addressing this high profile audience of key stakeholders and interested parties came with publication today, Tuesday 17th December, of the Interim Report on sites the Airports Commission has identified for further detailed development work.

Final recommendations on the preferred airport option – or options – will be announced after the General Election in May 2015.

But today’s announcement identifies the options which The Commission see as demonstrating merit for much-needed additional capacity, particularly in London and the South East.

In the Interim Report, the Davies team have earmarked the following:

  1. Gatwick Airport Ltd’s proposal for a new runway to the south of the existing runway
  2. Heathrow Airport Ltd’s proposal for one new 3,500m runway to the northwest
  3. Heathrow Hub’s proposal to extend the existing northern runway to at least 6,000m, enabling the extended runway to operate as two independent runways.

The Commission has not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options because, it says, there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage.  It will undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other short-listed options.

To the disappointment of some, the Commission has not shortlisted proposals for expansion at Stansted or Birmingham.

Baroness Brenda Dean, Chair of Runways UK’s Advisory Board, said “Sir Howard now has the unenviable task of identifying which scheme or schemes offer the best long-term solution – which balances economic, social and environmental impacts.”

“We are all delighted that Sir Howard has chosen Runways UK at which to articulate in more detail his thinking less than a month after release of his Interim Report and to talk about the Commission’s work programme going forward,” said Baroness Dean.

Sir Howard will now be joined at Runways UK by Heathrow and Gatwick bosses Colin Matthews and Stewart Wingate, along with ex-Concorde Chief Pilot Jock Lowe representing the ‘Heathrow Hub’ option.  They will be joined by Huw Thomas of Foster + Partners representing the Isle of Grain scheme.  It is attracting high-level interest from delegates from government; infrastructure; aviation and surface transport industries; environmental groups; business groups; passenger groups; unions; investors; bankers and anyone likely to have involvement with the development and delivery of the ultimate solutions. Supporting speakers and panellists keen to give their reaction include Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger; Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr Ralf Speth; former London Mayoral candidate Steve Norris; former secretary of State for Transport Lord Adonis; Independent Travel Editor Simon Calder; CAA chief Andrew Haines and economist Vicky Pryce.

Sir Howard was asked by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012 to conduct a thorough review of all current aviation capacity options ahead of developing a formal recommendation on the proposal which the Commission regards as being most beneficial to the UK’s future needs.

For further information see or please contact:

Tony Maguire on 07772 615113

Andrew Dowding on 07802174890

Rod Macdonald on 07802 161771


Jane Thompson on 07802 887844

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