17 Dec 2013 – A range of stakeholders have given their reaction to the Airports Commission Interim Report.


Political parties and Members of the UK Parliament

Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary has said that her party will ‘scrutinise [the report] closely’. She stated that ‘it is vital that we take decisions about our airport capacity, including in the South-East, which are important for Britain’s competitiveness … as the Commission now looks in greater detail at specific proposals it remains crucial that they take into account the need to minimise local and environmental impacts of increased capacity’. Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park has expressed his disappointment at the report. While Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee Val Shawcross offered her support for the establishment of an independent aviation noise regulator within the report. Keith Taylor, the Green Party MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, expressed concern over the rise in carbon emissions that any airport expansion would bring.


Local Authorities

Three London Boroughs have responded to the report. Cllr Colin Ellar, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council stated the councils opposition to a third runway and runway alteration. While Leader of Wandsworth Council and 2M spokesman Cllr Ravi Govindia was critical of the potential increase in night flights and mixed mode operation at Heathrow Airport. Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council restsated the council’s opposition to any further expansion at Heathrow Airport.


Short-listed proposers

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport has stated that he is ‘very pleased’ at the Airports Commission’s decision to shortlist their optionHeathrow Airport have also welcomed the report, which short-lists a Heathrow north-west third runway.


Airport operators

The owners of Stansted Airport, Manchester Airports Group, have welcomed the Airports Commission report for measures to increase capacity at the airport in the short term, including improving rail links between the airport and central London.  The Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, Paul Kehoe, has also welcomed the Airports Commission’s recognition of its role in the UK’s long-term aviation strategy. While Bristol Airport has urged the Government not to overlook the important role of regional airports following publication of the report.


Airline operator

Flybe has called on the Government to reserve space at London airports for use by regional services so that the whole of the UK can be benefit from future investment in aviation hubs in the South East.


Business Groups

The Confederation of British Industries have welcomed the publication of the report and are now urging the Government to ‘urgent action’. The British Chambers of Commerce and The London Chamber of Commerce have also called on the the Government to act on the recommendations. EEF the Manufacturers Organisation have also welcomed the report and now urged all political parties to ‘show leadership’ by making clear where they stand on the recommendations.



The Airports Commission Interim Report has also been welcomed by the Civil Aviation Authority.



Unite, Britain’s largest aviation union, has welcomed the report but assert that any move away from a single hub airport would damage Britain’s commercial standing and ‘put aviation jobs at risk’. GMB offered a ‘cautious  welcome’ for the report which they believe would help to protect high skilled jobs at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and in the surrounding areas.


Charities, campaign and pressure groups

The campaign group Friends of the Earth has stated its opposition to the report saying that the South of England does not need any further runways, while WWF said that there was no business case for airport expansion in the UK. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have criticised the Commission for failing to rule out a Thames Estuary proposal, and the campaign group Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign have issued a press release, stating that they will contest any expansion at the airport.