July 28, 2008

Third Runway ‘Obvious’ Choice

BUILDING a third runway at Heathrow Airport is the "obvious" solution to airport congestion, a report concludes today.

The detailed study rejects building more airport capacity elsewhere around London and says the idea of a new airport in the Thames Gateway is not thought credible.

Commissioned by the City of London Authority, the authors say Heathrow is currently "deeply unpopular" with business leaders because of delays, traffic around the airport and security issues.

They say business needs improvements to current services and expansion in the future.

Failure to increase the number of flights and reduce problems at the airport could threaten the city's role as a leading world business centre, authors York Aviation say.

B uilding the third runway comes with a "significant" environmental costs but the alternative, expanding Stansted, would be a less effective solution, they find.

Building an airport in the Thames Estuary is not thought credible by business leaders, the Aviation Services And The City report concludes.

The authors write: "The obvious preferred candidate for expansion to meet the City's needs is Heathrow, through delivery of the third runway."

The report was welcomed by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Policy director Dr Helen Hill said: "London competes day-in day- out to attract business from around the world but we are starting to lose ground to other major cities because Heathrow is stretched to breaking point."

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