News story

Secretary of State for Transport takes receipt of airports commission final report

Patrick McLoughlin has received the Airports Commission's final report and will now consider the conclusions.

Aeroplane wing
  • final Airports Commission report published
  • Transport Secretary to fully consider the conclusions of the report
  • government recognises contribution of aviation to the economy

The Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin has been presented with the final report from the Airports Commission, which it published today (1 July 2015).

The government will now fully consider the conclusions set out in the Commission’s final report.

The Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, was established in 2012 to consider how the UK could maintain its status as an international aviation hub and in particular provide new capacity in the south east.

Speaking to Parliament today Patrick McLoughlin said:

The task is to balance local interests against the wider, longer term benefits for the UK. We will come back to Parliament in the autumn to provide clear direction to everyone on the government’s plans. This is a vital moment for the future of our aviation industry. All those with an interest in this important question are expecting us to act decisively.

The Secretary of State made clear that government now had to make progress on this issue. Government must:

  • study the substantial and innovative evidence base the Commission has produced
  • decide what is the best way for achieving planning consents quickly and fairly if expansion is to go ahead
  • come back to Parliament in the autumn to provide clear direction to everyone on the government’s plans

The Airport Commission’s final report marks the end of an almost 3 year process in which over 50 different propositions were considered.

In December 2013 the Commission shortlisted 3 schemes for further consideration, 2 at Heathrow and 1 at Gatwick.

It also made recommendations for improving our existing airport infrastructure, including upgrading transport connections. The government is acting on these interim recommendations.

We are working with Gatwick Airport to upgrade the station there. Network Rail is leading a study to improve the rail link between London and Stansted. Crossrail will soon provide a new direct route to Heathrow.

The UK has the third largest aviation network in the world after the US and China.

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Published 1 July 2015