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Airport capacity in London (report by the London Assembly)
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Airport capacity in London (report by the London Assembly)

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The Transport Committee’s report, Airport Capacity in London, suggests existing airport capacity in London, including at Heathrow and Gatwick airports, could be used more effectively.

The Transport Committee’s report, Airport Capacity in London, suggests existing airport capacity in London, including at Heathrow and Gatwick airports, could be used more effectively.

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  • 1. AIRPORT CAPACITYIN LONDONMAY 2013
  • 2. 1We collected evidence covering a wide range of views fromairlines, business leaders, environmentalists and other experts,commissioned external research and visited National Air TrafficServices (NATS) at Swanwick as part of our investigation.The Assembly’s Transport Committee has invesigated the issue ofairport capacity in London. The report will feed in to theGovernment’s independent Airports Commission.
  • 3. 2The Airports Commission should show how existing airportcapacity in London should be used more effectively, includingat Heathrow.Airport capacity, including at Heathrow and Gatwick airports, couldbe used more effectively. Luton has 51% and Stansted has 47% ofits runway slots available. Even Heathrow, at 99%, might be able tofly 20 million extra passengers each year if larger aircraft were used.
  • 4. 3Better rail connections and active promotion of publictransport options could help increase passenger numbers atalternative airports to Heathrow. Stansted Airport suggestedthat it could attract an extra 1.5M passengers each year if thejourney time from London was reduced from 45 to 30 minutes.Overcoming barriers to choosing other airports over Heathrow,such as transport, would need to be addressed to encouragepassengers to switch from where they currently chose to fly from.
  • 5. 4The Airports Commission’s interim report should set out how ithas taken into account the importance of local demand indetermining how airlines use airport capacity.Runway constraints at Heathrow might not be the reason for fewer flightsto emerging economies, but preferences from local passengers asshown by new research commissioned. Two-thirds (85M) of £127mLondon airports passengers in 2010 came from SE or E England.
  • 6. 5The Airports Commission must address whether projectionsfor future air travel demand are realistic and, if so, how theGovernment’s accelerated CO2 targets could still beLondon’s need for a hub airport is under debate. While some argue itis needed for economic benefits, London remains the best connectedEuropean city and in 2010 the majority (78%) of Heathrowpassengers flew direct to their destination rather using the airport asa ‘hub’.
  • 7. 6If the Airports Commission finds a need to increase airportcapacity, it should rule out any expansion of Heathrow Airport.Heathrow causes significant noise and air pollution. 700,000residents already suffer from noise pollution from Heathrow flights(28% of all the people in Europe who suffer from aircraft noise).
  • 8. 7The Airports Commission must make clear in its interim reportits criteria for shortlisting any other options for airportexpansion, if necessary, addressing any issues.There could be issues to address if a new Thames Estuary airportwas built, including the potential closure of Heathrow (generatesemployment for 136,000); the £80 billion cost and airspaceimplications. NATS evidence suggested it could mean more aircraftflying at low levels over central London.
  • 9. To read the report and find outmore about the investigation,please visit:www.london.gov.uk/airport-capacity
  • 10. To read the report and find outmore about the investigation,please visit:www.london.gov.uk/airport-capacity