A hub for London

The NewsEditor
LU London World

The London Assembly has issued a report stating that airports in the South East need to use their capacity in a more intelligent way before politicians embark on building extra capacity. This is an argument which seems to be backed by Gatwick Airport's submission to the Davies Commission:

Gatwick warned that letting the west London airport expand to three or four runways would lead to a “premium” charged on flights. The Sussex airport argued there was evidence that airlines at dominant hubs were able to exploit their market position.

And Dutch consultants CE Delf suggests in a separate submission that the economic benefits are being talked up while the social and economic costs are being played down.

For entirely different reasons this would seem to suggest a consensus: we don't need a new hub, we need to promote competition and use what we already have better.

Meanwhile, protesters (including local MPs and the Mayor) have reiterated their opposition to Heathrow expansion:

Mr Johnson said the expansion of Heathrow would be a "giant step backwards for London", giving rise to "great flying fleets of fortissimo flatulence".

But of course, the Mayor is still promoting growth elsewhere (despite his aviation adviser looking to head elsewhere):

He told BBC London the alternatives offered by Gatwick, Stansted and two sites in the Thames Estuary should be concentrated on, and the idea of Heathrow expansion "closed down".

So, another week goes by and the debate over London's airport capacity moves forward not at all. Sir Howard's interim report (expected at the end of this year) cannot come soon enough.