Runway plans would be stalled by “inevitable” judicial review – causing long delays
The Airports Commission is expected to publish, this week, its initial appraisal of Heathrow and Gatwick’s runway plans, and their consultation on the three options. The Express reports that: “a source close to the Commission …..expects Gatwick and other opponents of airport expansion in general to launch a judicial review, potentially delaying the project.” The source also said: “We spend a lot of money on lawyers but we are surprised that we have only had one judicial review so far.” Heathrow wants to build a 3rd runway at the cost of £17 billion. Gatwick wants a 2nd runways, costing £7.8 billion. Gatwick says that its project could be built by 2025, and Heathrow that theirs could be by 2030. However, whichever airport the Commission recommends in summer 2015 will face inevitable judicial review – from the rival airport, and many others. Both plans are facing widespread opposition from residents and local politicians. As the Commission has a limited brief, with vital issues such as carbon emissions, noise measurement, taxation of air travel etc decided by others, their recommendations cannot be comprehensive.
Runway plans for Heathrow stalled
HEATHROW’S proposed expansion is set to be delayed, as the Airports Commission believes that a judicial review of its plans to build a third runway is “inevitable”.
By: Geoff Ho (Express)
November 9, 2014
The commission will publish its initial appraisal of Heathrow and Gatwick’s expansion plans this week and it is understood that it favours the West London hub.
Heathrow plans to either build a third runway or extend its north runway and divide it in two, while Gatwick wants to build a second landing strip.
However, a source close to the commission, which is headed by former Financial Services Authority chairman Sir Howard Davies, expects Gatwick and other opponents of airport expansion in general to launch a judicial review, potentially delaying the project.
We spend a lot of money on lawyers but we are surprised that we have only had one judicial review so far
Source close to the commission
“We spend a lot of money on lawyers but we are surprised that we have only had one judicial review so far. It’s inevitable that there will be more,” he said.
Last December, the High Court threw out a judicial review claim against the Airports Commission brought by the Stop Stansted Expansion group.
Last month Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye claimed that the airport has had to turn down 30 airlines that wish to start new routes or increase the frequency of existing services due to capacity constraints.
He said the waiting list includes airlines from North America, South America and Asia and that a quarter of British exports go through the hub, which is operating close to its capacity.
Heathrow wants to build a third runway at the cost of £17 billion, while Gatwick wants the Government commission to give the nod to its £7.8 billion scheme to construct a second airstrip.
Gatwick says that its project could be built by 2025, five years ahead of a third runway at Heathrow.
In its submission, Gatwick says that only 14,000 people would be affected by noise, compared with 240,000 for the Heathrow scheme. Both plans are facing widespread opposition from residents and local politicians.
However, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and business figures, such as Sir Richard Branson, believe the expansion plans being considered do not go far enough.
According to CBI director general John Cridland, if the UK is to hit the Government’s target of doubling exports to £1 trillion by 2020, airports around the country need expansion.