Transport experts back Heathrow – but with caveats

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport – the international professional body for individuals and companies associated with the sector – has come out in favour of Heathrow as the site of south-east England’s additional runway but says that its impact needs to be capped.
CILT is responding to the UK government’s Airports Commission’s consultation on options for a new runway, which last year shortlisted two proposals for expansion at Heathrow Airport and one for Gatwick.
It argues that Heathrow “is closer to the centre of gravity of population and economic activity.” Aviation Forum chair, Paul Le Blond, said: “The Heathrow options are clearly superior to Gatwick in terms of their business case and airline preference, though significantly worse in terms of a number of environmental impacts.”
The Institute acknowledges that exceeding local air quality limits, aircraft noise impacts and airport-related road traffic is a risk with the Heathrow option. It recommends that the Government, in supporting the Heathrow North West Runway, must cap activity unless targets are met.
It also says that the benefits of the Gatwick option are also greater than the impacts and that this option should be retained for the longer term.
The Institute is also confident that the UK aviation sector can grow within legislated carbon emission targets and recommends that that any additional runway capacity should include ring fenced slots for regional access to London, as part of a co-ordinated and continuously-updated airport strategy for the whole country.
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