Monday, 7 July 2014

Airport Commission meeting

We have been approached by the Airports Commission to assist in facilitating a visit to the Gatwick area for the Commissioners to meet with representatives from local communities.

The Airports Commission has been asked to examine the UK’s aviation capacity and need in the context of maintaining the UK’s position as a leading aviation hub.  It has been asked to make recommendations to the Government about how that capacity should be delivered.  In its Interim Report (published in December, 2013) the Commission shortlisted three proposals – two at Heathrow Airport and one at Gatwick Airport – for providing additional capacity.

The Airports Commissioners – Sir Howard Davies, Sir John Armitt, Dame Julia King, Professor Ricky Burdett and Vivienne Cox – are keen to engage with local authorities and MPs and communities around the shortlisted options. 

The Commissioners are also keen to ensure they understand local concerns as they work through the appraisals of each option. 

WSCC’s position is that we support the case for a second runway, in principle, but are cognisant of the environmental and infrastructure issues that may arise.  We do understand that feelings run high and that there is a lot of opposition. However, we do believe the economic case and the benefits it would bring to the county are solid.

Although notice has been short, we have worked hard with the Commission secretariat to facilitate this opportunity for local representatives to meet with the Commissioners, which will take place on Wednesday. This is a private meeting for the benefit of elected local authority leaders and MPs. It will be followed by a wider discussion when they will answer questions from additional invited guests, including Councillors, local groups and organisations such as parish councils, Gatwick Diamond and Manor Royal.

I will post another blog after the meeting because I am keen to share what happens as I know there is a lot of interest.

Best wishes,

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