The Last Word on our airports

Phil Hornby talks to politicians from our region about the row over airports in our region, and the legacy of Olympics and Paralympics.


New airport plans cause uproar

Proposals to expand Heathrow or Gatwick are so contentious that plans for alternative new airports have emerged, causing some disquiet.

New four runway airport?

It's been reported that a mystery consortium is drawing up plans for a new 4 runway airport near Heathrow

Live updates

Meridian East: Political reaction to airport expansion report

by Phil Hornby

The Davies report into plans for the future expansion of airports in the South has not included a shortlisting for a potential Thames Estuary airport. However the option has not been completely ruled out.

If an airport were to be built in the Thames Estuary it would impact on thousands of people in North Kent. For reaction from Westminster here's our political correspondent Phil Hornby.

Airport expansion: What the Davies report means for the Meridian West area

by Phil Hornby

It has been announced that new runways *will *be built at the South's major airports with Heathrow and Gatwick both shortlisted for expansion.

The Davies report was commissioned by the government to identify how the UK can increase airport capacity to cater for growing passenger numbers.

The report shortlisted three options. Heathrow features in two of them. They include:

  • A new runway north west of Heathrow

  • An extension to Heathrow's existing northern runway

  • A second runway to the south at Gatwick Airport

A new Thames Estuary airport known as Boris Island - off the coast of Kent was not shortlisted but nor was it ruled out.

Our political correspondent Phil Hornby reports on the potential impact of the report for the Meridian West area.


Airport expansion: What the Davies report means for the Meridian East area

by Phil Hornby

A long awaited report into the future of air capacity in the south east has revealed a massive new hub airport in the Thames Estuary could still be on the cards.

Three options have made the shortlist of the Davies Commission report. They include building a new runway north west of Heathrow; an extension to its existing northern runway and at Gatwick a second runway to the south.

A new hub airport off the coast of Kent was not shortlisted but may be included in the plans next year. Here's our political correspondent Phil Hornby.

Flight control returns to normal

The National Air Traffic Services has said it has rectified the problems which caused delays and cancellations to the region's airports yesterday.

Problems with with the ground communications system in the Area Control operations room at NATS Swanwick have now been resolved.

The technical and operational contingency measures we have had in place have enabled us to deliver more than 80% of our normal operation. The reduction in capacity has had a disproportionate effect on southern England because it is extremely complex and busy airspace and we sincerely regret inconvenience to our airline customers and their passengers.

This is a very complex and sophisticated system with more than a million lines of software. It is the system that controllers use to speak to other ATC agencies both in the UK and Europe and is the biggest system of its kind in Europe."


NATS said the glitch had been been a major challenge for their engineering team and for the manufacturer, who worked closely with them to ensure the "complex" problem was resolved as quickly as possible while maintaining a safe service.


Travel advice from Heathrow Airport


Due to an a?r traff?c control technical issue, fl?ghts from many UK a?rports, ?nclud?ng Heathrow, are subject to delay and cancellat?on.


If flying today pls check the status of your flight regularly with your airline.

Updates from Southampton Airport


Delays to flights due to NATS technical issue but flights are still taking off and landing. Pls contact your airline


We are currently experiencing delays to the following departures: BE763 Edinburgh, BE882 Glasgow and SI643 Jersey


We are experiencing delays to the following arrivals: BE3042 from Paris Orly, SI642 from Jersey, BE383 from Dublin and BE1012 from Amsterdam

Passengers face airport delays

Passengers at Heathrow, Gatwick, and Southampton airports are being told to expect delays due to an air traffic control problem. National Air Traffic Services says it's a technical hitch related to a changeover from night-time to daytime duties.

Due to a technical problem at Swanwick we are currently experiencing some difficulty switching from night time to daytime operation. This may result in some delays for which we apologise. Engineers are working to rectify the problem as soon as possible."


New developments for aviation in the South

New runways must be built, that is the message tonight from the man in charge of airport expansion. Sir Howard Davies said developing Heathrow or Gatwick, and a new airport in the Thames Estuary, is firmly on the agenda.

Campaigners living beneath the flightpath say extra planes and more flights will be unbearable and nothing short of an environmental disaster. The final decision will be made at the end of the year. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

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