Reaction to airport expansion report

The Airport Commission's Interim Report has been released and announces proposals for new runways at both Gatwick and Heathrow Airport- with a considered option for Thames Estuary.

Live updates

  1. Chris Maughan

Airport expansion: The view from Heathrow Airport

While many believe another runway is needed in our region, few want it in their back yard. Although the expansion of Heathrow could create thousands more jobs, it would also bring more aircraft noise and pollution. And in some cases whole communities could be wiped out.

Chris Maughan has been finding out what the expansion of Heathrow would mean for those living under the flightpath.


  1. John Ryall

Airport expansion: The background to a Thames Estuary airport option

Plans for a Thames Estuary airport were first proposed in the 1970s. But the idea was given new impetus five years ago by the London Mayor, Boris Johnson who proposed an airport off the Isle of Sheppey.

The architect Lord Foster suggested a hub airport on the Isle of Grain and there's even a proposal to build at Goodwin Sands, near Dover.

Our reporter, John Ryall has been in north Kent to find out what people there think.

  1. Malcolm Shaw

The arguments for & against Gatwick Airport expansion

The Davies report into the future of aviation in the South highlights that airport expansion is desperately needed in the south east - but few people want a new runway in their backyard. While growth could create more jobs, it would also bring more aircraft noise and pollution.

Gatwick Airport still has a lot of spare capacity. But, is a new runway even necessary? Our correspondent Malcolm Shaw has been looking at the arguments.

  1. Phil Hornby

Meridian East: Political reaction to airport expansion report

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.


Freight Transport Association says airport expansion is much needed

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said the interim report published today underlines the need for new airport capacity in the south east.

The three shortlisted options include a third runway at Heathrow, lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow and a new runway at Gatwick.

Chris Welsh, FTA's General Manager said: "We welcome the report’s confirmation that there is a need for additional runway capacity in the south east, something FTA has long called for. his additional runway capacity is urgently needed to enhance the global air cargo hub status of Heathrow.

"Maintaining a global hub located in the UK is vital to the economy and our international competitiveness is likely to be impaired unless current airport capacity is expanded to cater for growth in international trade.”

Kent campaigners disagree with Commission findings

Heathrow Airport is one of the two airports affected in Davies' report Credit: PA

Campaigners in Kent say the new airport commission report shows 'a woeful lack of vision'.

'Why Not Manston?' is a campaign group working to encourage the use of Kent's Manston airport.

Chairman Nicholas Reed said: “The announcementby the Davies Commission that they support new runways at Heathrow and Gatwickshows a woeful lack of vision. Heathrow is already running at 98% capacity, andthe thought of yet more cars trying to reach it is horrifying.

But sitting on the fence over a new hub airport on the Isle of Grain is ridiculous. There is already a major airport at Manston in NE Kent, and it is scandalously underused.

"If use of Manston and Southend Airports was substantially increased, it would completely undermine the case for a new hub airport. Manston is easily reached from London, has excellent facilities, and is an hour’s flying time closer to the continent.

"What’s more, it is already there: no need to wait 15years for its completion.”

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