Commons Transport Committee shortly to hold inquiry into airport capacity – to report by summer 2013
The Commons’ Transport Committee will launch a major inquiry into aviation tomorrow – 13th September – pre-empting the interim results of the Government’s independent Davies Commission report on UK airports – which are expected by the end of 2013. The transport select committee is likely to reach a conclusion in 6 -9 months, so by early next year, on whether there is a need for more capacity, or as the Standard puts it ” on where a major London hub airport should be sited.” Boris will be invited to give evidence to the committee, as will Government ministers, airline chiefs, environmentalists and campaigners against airport expansion. The inquiry will also examine regional airports, passenger experience and APD.
MPs probe into airports will beat Government inquiry in race for solution
– Transport select committee findings due in ahead of Government
– Boris Johnson set to be invited to give evidence
– MPs’ report to pile pressure on ministers to come to a decision
12 September 2012 (Evening Standard)
MPs will launch a major inquiry into aviation tomorrow — pre-empting the Government’s probe on UK airports.
The influential transport select committee is likely to reach a conclusion by early next year on where a major London hub airport should be sited.
The final findings are set to be delivered about six months before the interim results of the Government-commissioned report by Sir Howard Davies, the former boss of the London School of Economics, at the end of next year.
Mayor Boris Johnson will almost certainly be invited to give evidence to the committee, as will Government ministers, airline chiefs, environmentalists and campaigners against airport expansion.
The MPs’ in-depth report on the Government’s aviation strategy will heap pressure on ministers not to drag their feet over whether to back a third Heathrow runway, a “Boris island-style” airport in the Thames estuary, a second runway at Gatwick, or expansion at Stansted.
The Conservatives have opened the door to supporting a bigger Heathrow, which the Liberal Democrats still firmly oppose, and the final Davies report has been delayed until after the next general election.
But Louise Ellman, Labour chairman of the transport committee, told the Standard: “The issue will not disappear. It must be addressed.
“We will be making recommendations about a hub airport which are likely to include where it should be located. We are intending to report in the first half of 2013.”
Spelthorne Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng is the only London MP on the committee and he has led the campaign to put a third runway at Heathrow back on the agenda.
The inquiry will also examine regional airports, passenger experience and air passenger duty. Given the number of MPs on the committee from outside London, including Liverpool Riverside MP Ms Ellman, it is likely to come up with some in-depth recommendations on regional airports.
David Cameron paved the way for the Tories to ditch their opposition to a third runway at Heathrow by moving Putney MP Justine Greening from Transport Secretary to the overseas development brief. She was one of the fiercest opponents of expanding the west London airport.