Howard Davies, whose “Airports Commission” decided a Heathrow 3rd runway…

howard-davies,-whose-“airports-commission”-decided-a-heathrow-3rd-runway…

Howard Davies, whose “Airports Commission” decided a Heathrow 3rd runway…

Howard Davies, whose “Airports Commission” decided a Heathrow 3rd runway was needed and justified, now says it no longer is
2021-06-16 17:04:00
Back in 2015, Sir Howard Davies chaired the Airports Commission, which had been given the task – by George Osborne – of making the case for a 3rd runway at Heathrow, so the Conservative government could press ahead with it, once they were out of coalition with the LibDems, who opposed it.  Sir Howard had financial connections which might be considered to make him biased towards the airport. In July 2015 the Commission produced its report, recommending Heathrow’s 3rd runway, as a way to meet anticipated air travel demand in the south east. Now, with the impact of the Covid pandemic, and Heathrow struggling with 72% fewer passengers in 2020 than in 2019, Sir Howard has admitted that no extra runway is now needed, nor will it be for some time. In 2015 he believed there was an economic case for it, and spending up to £18 billion on the expansion. Now, even with the cheaper planned scheme at about £14 billion, he has said: “I would have to redo the numbers to see if the economics made sense.”  The whole Airports National Policy Statement was based on building a 3rd Heathrow runway, on the recommendation of Sir Howard Davies, before deciding on airport policy for the whole of the UK. .Tweet     Heathrow expansion thrown off by pandemic By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (The Times) June 16 2021 A third runway at Heathrow may no longer be needed because of a collapse in the number of people travelling by air, according to the head of a government review into airport expansion. Sir Howard Davies recommended the expansion at the airport in west London as part of the Airports Commission report published six years ago. The commission said in July 2015 that an additional runway would deliver jobs, make long-haul routes profitable and boost the economy. However, yesterday Davies admitted that the pandemic now raised serious doubts over the expansion. Asked by LBC radio if a new runway was needed, he said: “Not at the moment, quite clearly. Heathrow would be delighted to fill the two runways it’s got just at the moment and it’s nowhere near it.” The new runway is intended to boost Heathrow’s capacity by 50 per cent, allowing it to handle up to 280,000 extra flights a year. However, it recorded a 72.7 per cent reduction in passenger numbers last year, dropping from 80.9 million in 2019 to 22.1 million. Davies, chairman of NatWest Group, said that the pandemic had dramatically changed people’s working patterns and trust in video-conferencing technology, meaning far fewer people would now travel for business. The intervention was seized upon by opponents of the two-mile runway which is expected to be built at an initial cost of about £14 billion. The scheme has already been thrown into huge doubt in recent years. Theresa May’s government backed the plans in 2018 based on the Davies recommendation, triggering a lengthy planning process. The Court of Appeal ruled in February last year that the government’s backing was unlawful because it failed to take account of climate change commitments. This was then overturned by the Supreme Court in December. However, Boris Johnson refuses to endorse the plans. Heathrow itself has now admitted that the plans have been put on the back-burner pending its recovery from the pandemic. Davies insisted that if a new runway was needed in the southeast it must still be at Heathrow. However, asked if he was still in favour of the project, he said: “I would have to redo the numbers to see if the economics made sense. A Heathrow spokeswoman said that “demand for aviation will recover from Covid and sufficient hub airport capacity to support a global Britain will be required”. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heathrow-expansion-thrown-off-by-pandemic-058q85j85 . See earlier:   How Heathrow’s new runway would be funded, (higher landing costs, more costs to taxpayer) – all unclear August 14, 2017 Heathrow’s plans for a 3rd runway, and associated building, are due to cost the airport at least £18 billion (not including unexpected over-runs and engineering problems etc). Heathrow now wants the right to make airlines and passenge

Read More


Share this post