Airports Commission report backs third Heathrow runway

The Airports Commission report, published today (1 July), has backed a third runway at Heathrow, saying it will add £147bn in economic growth and 70,000 jobs by 2050.

This proposal from Howard Davies is deeply disappointing. His proposal for a third runway at Heathrow would see local communities further blighted by noise and air pollution and would undermine our efforts to tackle climate change.

The real choice our Government needs to make in response to the Davies Commission is whether it wants to invest now for a sustainable UK or continue to expand aviation.

The Committee on Climate Change says we need an emissions action plan for aviation. Any decision should be delayed until this is drawn up.

As well as recognising the true scale of local environmental impacts of expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick Airports, our Government must now show its leadership on climate change by choosing a different course for the UK’s economy – one where environmental and economic sustainability walk together, rather than talking about the former while investing in the latter.

Uncertainty remains for Gatwick

The Commission has also said that Gatwick expansion remains “a credible alternative”.

This announcement comes less than six months before international leaders meet to negotiate their commitments to climate action in Paris this December.

The Airports Commission had been charged by the Government with reviewing whether further capacity is needed at any of the UK’s airports and whether Gatwick or Heathrow should be preferred. Their decision fails to acknowledge that all airports (with the exception of Heathrow) are currently underused. The matter will now be determined by MPs.

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