The Royal Borough of WIndsor and Maidenhead is disappointed with the decision by the Airports Commission to recommend Heathrow as its preferred choice for proposed expansion.
The council backs the expansion plans for Gatwick on economic grounds -also, it says, representing the least environmentally damaging option.
Councillor Carwyn Cox, cabinet member for Environmental Services, said: “I am extremely disappointed that the Airports Commission has backed proposals to expand Heathrow despite all the evidence that this is not the best option.
“Gatwick has presented a stronger case and we are extremely concerned about the negative impact expansion at Heathrow would have on our residents.
“We will now be calling upon the Government to go against the recommendations of the Airports Commission’s report and choose plans for expansion at Gatwick Airport.
“A final decision has not yet been made and we will continue to make the strongest case possible against the Heathrow expansion plans.”
ABTA welcomes today’s announcement by the Airports Commission that Heathrow Airport should be allowed to build a third runway. Increasing airport capacity is essential to the UK’s growth and global competitiveness; we are pleased that this recommendation has been arrived at through fair, transparent, and thorough processes and consultations.
Today’s announcement is the first step towards the delivery of urgently needed capacity at the UK’s hub airport and we now look forward to the Government’s response.
We call on Government to work across party boundaries and create a robust political consensus which will deliver this recommendation for UK businesses and passengers. ABTA will be working with the Government, as well as the opposition front benches to help build consensus.
John Stewart, Heathrow runway protester, says they will fight tooth and nail to fight the expansion. He says it will be 'the mother of all battles'.
My department has received the final report from the Airports Commission and will now consider that advice in detail.
As a nation we must be ambitious and forward looking. This is a once in a generation opportunity to answer a vital question.
I will make a statement to Parliament later today in which I will set out the process for that decision to be made.
The CEO of Gatwick Airport says all is not lost. He says the Commission's report makes clear that expansion at Gatwick is deliverable.
Stewart Wingate said: "Gatwick is still very much in the race."
Caroline Lucas, the Green Party’s MP for Brighton Pavilion, has labelled the Davies Commission’s findings as ‘deeply disappointing’. Lucas is calling for an end to airport expansion and for the Government to look at proposals to change the taxation around aviation to discourage ‘frequent flyers’ while cutting taxes for those who fly less frequently.
The plan, backed by the Campaign for Better Transport, the New Economics Foundation, the Tax Justice Network, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth among others, would see air passenger duty scrapped and replaced by a new frequent flyers levy. Everyone would be able to take one flight a year without paying any levy, but for subsequent journeys the levy would rise each time.
Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council, said: “We are pleased today’s announcement by the Airports Commission vindicates our lengthy campaign to stop an airport being built on the Isle of Grain.
“The pie-in-the-sky plans for the so-called Boris Island Airport were a distraction we could have done without as we got on with our day-to-day business.
“We fought hard to block the proposal and will do the same if, as some reports suggest, the prospect of an airport in the Thames Estuary in Medway is ever raised again.”
The report says the Government should rule out a fourth runway at Heathrow and calls on it to make a decision as soon as possible.
It calls for:
A ban on night flights between 1130pm and 0600.
No fourth runway.
A legally binding limit on noise.
A legal commitment on air quality that EU limits are met.
It says Heathrow has the strongest case and offers the strongest economic benefits.
The Airports Commission has that recommended a new runway for the region should be built at Heathrow and not Gatwick. It says the Government should take also take "firm action" to rule out further expansion at the airport.
It also wants a ban on night flights, a highly controversial issue in the Thames Valley.
Sir Howard Davies who has spent two years looking at plans to expand Heathrow, Gatwick and for a new airport in the Thames Estuary says Heathrow is best.
In a 242 page report he says Gatwick put up a "credible option" but Heathrow is best placed. It will create 70,000 jobs by 2050.
Of Gatwick the report says:
"The scheme is feasible but the additional capacity would be more focused on short-haul intra-European routes and the economic benefits would be considerably smaller."
The report says at Heathrow there would be a boost to the economy of £147 billion over 60 years and add 40 new destinations. Around 800 homes would be demolished.
The plan is for a new runway north of the airport near to the M4 which would run over the M25 in a tunnel. A scheme known as Heathrow Hub, to extend an existing runway is ruled out because it would bring less benefit.