Estuary airport not the answer says local enterprise partnership
Date posted: 09-07-2012
A HUB airport in the Thames Estuary is not a solution to the South East’s airport capacity problems in the foreseeable future – according to an independent report received by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP)
The report found that: expanding utilisation at other airports serving the South East (including Stansted, Southend and Manston) could address short term business needs significant potential is available by increasing the Air Transport Movement Cap at Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports allowing mixed mode operations at Heathrow could provide capacity for up to an additional 20 million passengers a year at the airport
However it found that due to a wide range of issues including cost, air space management, the time it would take to build and the impact it would have on the current Heathrow site, a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary is not a feasible solution.
Chairman of the South East LEP, John Spence, said:
“As the country’s economic powerhouse the South East needs a transport infrastructure that helps business grow and flourish. This report shows us that business traffic is already being lost to the UK.
“It confirms the need for new capacity in the long term but the immediate need is for better utilisation of the capacity we have. We do not believe that a hub airport in the Thames Estuary is a viable short or medium term solution.
“It is vitally important that the government look at the capacity issues at Heathrow and Gatwick to address the situation now.”
A summary of the Parsons Brinckhoff report can be found here.
In developing their report Parsons Brinckhoff spoke to over 110 individuals and organisations including business representatives, airlines, airport owners, and political representatives.
The estimate on the increase of passengers a year at Heathrow is also dependent on increasing the annual air transport movement limit to 540,000 and revising or ending the Cranford agreement limiting the numbers of easterly departures from the northern runway.
The report will help shape SELEP’s response to the government’s consultation into airport capacity nationally due to be launched soon.