Government to consider? accept? support? back? implement? Davies Commission findings?

At the announcement of the Davies Commission, by Patrick McLoughlin on 7th September, he said  – of the Commission: “A decision on whether to support any of the recommendations contained in the final report will be taken by the next Government.” (see link).  The Guardian is now reporting that, speaking at the Airport Operators Association, Simon Burns (Minister of State for Transport) said the Conservatives would back and implement the findings of the commission led by Sir Howard Davies when it reports in 2015.  Patrick McLoughlin said of it on around 7th October: “I hope all main parties will back his findings.”  link  The Guardian is saying that, before this AOA meeting, McLoughlin had only “pledged to consider” its recommendations  The Guardian reports that the aviation industry has jumped on this comment by Simon Burns. The terms of reference and membership of the Davies Commission  are yet to be confirmed, almost two months after it was first announced. Burns said there would be more details within weeks.


Aviation industry seizes on minister’s pledge to accept airports advice

Simon Burns says Conservatives will implement Sir Howard Davies’ findings on runway capacity in south-east England

  • , transport correspondent (Guardian)

The aviation industry has seized on an apparent shift in policy on airport capacity in south-east England, as the aviation minister committed to accepting the recommendations of an independent commission.

Simon Burns, speaking at the Airport Operators Association (AOA) conference, said the Conservatives would back and implement the findings of the commission led by Sir Howard Davies when it reports in 2015. Previously his boss, the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has only pledged to “consider” its recommendations on the question of whether extra capacity, including a third runway at Heathrow or new airports, is needed.

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the AOA, said his organisation “welcomes the aviation minister’s unambiguous commitment to acting on the findings of the airports commission.

“We have been seeking such a commitment since the commission was set up, to ensure that its work was meaningful and would not be a waste of time of taxpayers’ money.

“We now respectfully ask whether the Labour and Lib Dem transport teams will follow suit.”

The government later appeared to row back from Burns’s comments, with sources saying it was “committed to the process” and hoped the commission would provide solutions.

The shadow transport secretary, Maria Eagle, said: “We’ve had a whole year of dither and delay from the government since Labour first proposed an independent aviation commission. Even after appointing Sir Howard Davies to lead this work, ministers are still trying to avoid taking decisions by asking the commission not to report until after the next election.”