PDF Icon Use of the UK’s existing Airport capacity

In its Interim Report the Commission looked at the possibility of moving traffic between London airports, or away from London airports, to obviate the need for new runway capacity.

The Commission’s forecasts suggest that airports serving London and the South East of England will be under very substantial pressure in 2030, with demand significantly in excess of the total available capacity by 2050.1 So moving traffic between London airports is seen by the Commission as only delay the need for further capacity.

The Commission’s analysis also suggested that there is relatively little scope to redistribute this demand away from London and South East airports, as such efforts would either have limited impact or have a negative effect on UK connectivity and capacity as a whole.

However, regional airports and those serving London and the South East other than Gatwick and Heathrow Airports are still vital to the Commission’s analysis; it is argued that in the future these airports will play a crucial national role, especially at a time when the major London airports are operating very close to capacity.

The focus of this paper is therefore the connectivity and capacity provided by airports other than those short listed by the Commission for further consideration as long-term capacity options. The Commission wishes to understand the long-term strategic context within which the eventual expansion option is likely to sit, and any recommendations it could usefully make to shape this context. This paper is a call for evidence on that subject.

The paper consists of two parts. First it examines non-London, or regional, airports. Second it examines other (i.e. non Heathrow and Gatwick) airports serving London and the South East.

The Finale chapter sets out a number of specific questions in relation to the above topics, and provides details of how to respond to the call for evidence. The Commission welcomes responses by Friday 25th July.