Air transport report calls for Thames Estuary airport decision to be made sooner
A section of the Thames
Estuary airport. Designed by Lord Foster
The government needs to act swiftly if the country's aviation
industry and 'UK plc' isn't to be grounded by competitor
That is the key finding of a survey into aviation,
including the various options for a multi-billion pounds Thames
The findings of the Gateway Associates Key Influencer Survey on
plans for the hub airport were published today in front of the
aviation all-party parliamentary group.
The report sought the views of nearly 70 of the "most
influential" private, public, national and international
stakeholders, including the coalition government.
pressed for Heathrow to be included in the equation when airport
strategy is considered.
It continued: "This frustration is further reflected with the
call to ‘Get on with it’ since most believe the timescale for
reaching a decision could be significantly reduced."
It said the plan to deliver the Davies Commission's report into
air transport after the 2015 general election was thought to be
timed for political, rather than economic or social reasons.
It continued: "This unnecessary procrastination will have a
significantly negative impact on communities in the Thames Estuary,
and those around London and regional UK airports, while they are
left waiting on tenterhooks.
"Many also believe that the environment will be completely
side-lined and ignored when it comes to making the eventual
decision about future aviation development."
Ex-Kent MP Paul Clark, director of Gateway Associates and
former Transport Minister, said: “All political parties need to
recognise the genuine concerns expressed in this report and urge
everyone involved to prepare the way for a decision to be made
sooner rather than later."
The report set out six recommendations to politicians and
officals, which include not ignoring Heathrow and being upfront
about funding and compensation.
Kent is at the heart of plans for the future of aviation, with
key schemes put forward by architect Lord Foster for Grain; London
Mayor Boris Johnson for an island in the Thames Estuary; John Olsen
for Cliffe; a tethered island off Sheppey put forward by
London Britannia and a scheme for Goodwin Sands by architects
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