Parties refuse to back forthcoming aviation report

March 18 2015  

Parties refuse to back forthcoming aviation report

Politicians from all three main political parties have refused to be drawn on whether they would implement the recommendations of the Airports Commission into aviation expansion in the South East if their party formed part of the next Government.

Transport specialist Professor David Begg asked the panel at ‘The Great Transport Debate’ in London last Wednesday if they would support Sir Howard Davies’ report, due this summer.

Conservative Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin replied: “I’m not going to give a yes or no answer. What I will say is I’m immensely impressed in the way the Davies Commission has gone about its work.”

Labour transport spokesman Lilian Greenwood said: “I’m not going to commit, but it is an issue which needs serious looking at and it was a shame (that a decision over aviation) was kicked into the next Parliament.”

Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Susan Kramer answered: “I don’t think politicians can abdicate responsibility to the Commission. The report will be a very important piece of information, but is far from being the only piece of information.”

CIHT’s aviation champion Alan Stilwell said he was “disappointed, but not surprised” that the politicians refused to commit to backing the report’s findings. He added that he looks forward to seeing what each party says about aviation in their forthcoming election manifestos.

Consultation on three options for a new runway closed in early February. The options remaining are the building of a second runway at Gatwick, building a third runway at Heathrow and extending an existing runway at Heathrow.

(Photo: Alastair Lloyd)

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