The Airports Commission have published a consultation on the Commission’s current position on taking forward additional feasibility and impacts work for an inner Thames Estuary airport proposal. It invites comments on the draft terms of reference for the 4 research studies which the Airports Commission will be progressing. The Commission’s current position on the draft terms of reference for the four study areas can be found in the appendix to the report, but are outlined briefly below:
- Environmental impacts – assessment of the impacts on the Natura 2000 sites, coastal system, habitats and species affected and historical and archaeological sites, in constructing and operating a new airport and identifying whether the legal tests could be met.
- Operational feasibility and attitudes about moving to a new airport – assessment of key potential operational issues and potential mitigation, including meteorological and wildlife impacts, the SS Montgomery and relocating energy facilities; assessing airline, airport, business and industry attitudes to the decision to move operations to a new hub airport, and to then moving operations.
- Socio-economic impacts – assessment of the local, sub-national and national economic and social benefits and impacts of building a new hub airport in the inner Thames Estuary, closing down Heathrow and London City airports, and redeveloping the Heathrow site.
- Surface access impacts – assessment of the operational, cost and environmental impacts of any surface transport proposals required to support a new hub airport, as well as impacts on existing and planned local and strategic transport infrastructure.
The Commission is now inviting views and comments on its current position on the proposed terms of reference. Comments are invited by no later than 14 February 2014, to inform the project initiation documents. Please send any comments on the draft terms of reference for the four studies to firstname.lastname@example.org.