Building a vast new airport on the Isle of Grain would close Southend Airport
If a large new airport is built on the Isle of Grain, Kent, as London Mayor Boris Johnson has suggested, a clash of air space would mean Southend Airport – and City Airport in London – would probably need to close, the Airports Commission has warned in its Interim Statement. They said this could reduce the options available to low cost airlines and reduce the overall gains to airport capacity over the London area overall. They said that, in particular, it would be very challenging to manage the airspace with the 3 airports. Due to last-minute lobbying by the Mayor and Daniel Moylan, the Commission agreed to look at the £112 billion Isle of Grain scheme, put forward by Wembley Stadium designer Lord Norman Foster in more detail,in the first half of 2014, before deciding whether it should be included in the final short-list consultation starting in October. Southend airport has been emphasising how much money they have already invested in the airport. Nigel Holdcroft, leader of Southend Council, said: “The development of a major airport on the Isle of Grain would have adverse economic and environmental effects on Southend.”
‘Boris Island’ would close Southend Airport
15th January 2014 (Sputhend Echo)
SOUTHEND Airport would probably have to close if a “Boris Island” airport goes ahead, a Government commission has warned.
If a large new airport is built on the Isle of Grain, Kent, as London Mayor Boris Johnson has suggested, a clash of air space would mean Southend Airport – and City Airport in London – would likely need to close, the Airports Commission has warned.
The body, which is looking into how to increase airport capacity in the south east, warned this could reduce the options available to low cost airlines and reduce the overall gains to capacity over the London area overall.
“In particular, it would be very challenging to manage the interactions between arrivals and departures at the new airport and those at London City, suggesting the latter would have to close.
“An Isle of Grain airport would also be likely to require the closure of Southend Airport, reducing the options available to low cost carriers in the south east of England.”
The Airports Commission, which will make its final recommendations in 2015, failed to include an estuary airport in its interim shortlist in December due to “uncertainties and challenges” over its design.
But the commission agreed to look at the £112billion scheme, put forward by Wembley Stadium designer Lord Norman Foster in more details before deciding whether it should be included in the final report this year.
David Lister, operations director of Southend Airport, said: “We have been calling on the Airports Commission, and the Department of Transport charged with implementing the interim recommendations, not to forget what the Essex airport has to offer.
“With no new runways proposed before 2030 and the opening in January 2014 of Southend Airport’s extended terminal – the culmination of over £120million investment – Southend Airport is in the unique position to provide travellers to and from London, the ‘simply easier’ travelling experience.
“Our investment demonstrates the significant capacity which now exists at Southend and we can make a real difference to the congestion issues faced across the other London airports.
“We hope they would consider all this in their deliberations over the future of air capacity in the south east.”
Nigel Holdcroft, leader of Southend Council, said: “The development of a major airport on the Isle of Grain would have adverse economic and environmental effects on Southend.
“While the ability of Southend Airport to continue to operate in such circumstances is a matter of debate, the new airport would inevitably attract investment and regeneration from south Essex to north Kent and would also add yet further stress to the already overloaded public infrastructure in south east England.”
Airports Commission publishes interim report with 2 options for a runway at Heathrow and 1 at Gatwick. Estuary still being considered
December 17, 2013
The Airports Commission’s interim report has put forward 3 options for a new runway, and have kept their options open on an estuary airport. There would only be one runway, not two and they consider this should be in operation before 2030. At Heathrow the choices are a north west runway, 3,500 metres long, destroying Harmondsworth; and an extension westwards of at least 3,000 metres, of the existing northern runway. They also consider a wide spaced Gatwick runway to the south. The Commission also says “there is likely to be a demand case for a 2nd additional runway to be operational by 2050.” They claim this is “consistent with the Committee of Climate Change’s advice to government on meeting its legislated climate change targets.” Stansted is ruled out, and on the Thames Estuary they say: “The Commission has not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options because there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage. It will undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other short-listed options.” The report also contains recommendations to the government for immediate action to improve the use of existing runway capacity. Among others, these include better airspace organisation and surface transport improvements such as enhancement of Gatwick station, a rail link from the south to Heathrow, and a rail link between Heathrow and Stansted. Click here to view full story…