Further to the article we published in a previous edition of our newsletter, there have been some recent advances on the problematic issue of the expansion of runway capacity at UK airports.
As you may remember, the Davies Commission had recommended Heathrow as the most viable of the three shortlisted options. However since the announcement of the commission’s findings, the campaign against it from Gatwick, among others, has been compelling.
According to government sources the final decision from the Prime Minister was due to be announced this month, however due to a mounting environmental argument against Heathrow the rumours began to circulate that the decision would be put off until next year.
Effectively, as predicted the government announced last week that the decision would now be announced in July 2016, subject to further investigation by an environmental committee formed to analyse all of the options.
The fallout from this decision has, naturally, been considerable. A number of UK business action groups have expressed their disapproval, and a number “unsavoury” comments have even been made against Cameron. The most recent to express their opinion is Willie Walsh, head of International Airlines Group, who has bluntly threatened to pull out of the UK altogether and move operations to Madrid and Dublin should a decision not be made as soon as possible.
The pressure is mounting for David Cameron and his party. It most certainly seems to be a case of short-term vision politics to win (or lose) votes, as opposed to long-term strategic planning. The jury is out.
We will of course keep you updated on the development of this troublesome, albeit intriguing, issue.
Please find below a link to a recent article by the BBC covering the announcement, along with some interesting comments and analysis.
Check out our previous post on this subject here