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Airport measures could give £206m economic boost

Airport measures could give £206m economic boost

Short-term measures considered by the Airports Commission could boost the economy by £206m a year from 2023, research shows

» Airports - UK | Monday, February 10, 2014 • Telegraph
Using both of Heathrow’s runways for take-off and landing and other shorter-term measures examined by the Airports Commission could boost the British economy by £206m a year from 2023, according to new research.
 
Adopting so-called “mixed mode” operations at Heathrow “appears likely to deliver the most significant GDP benefits” and would lead to the direct and indirect creation of 3,400 jobs, a report commissioned by the City of London Corporation and London First has found.
 
Currently, one Heathrow runway is used solely for arrivals, and the other for departures.
 
Improving rail links to Gatwick and Stansted airports could also lead to journey time savings of £75.6m and £53.4m respectively, according to the research, which was undertaken by York Aviation.
 
Reducing delays at Heathrow by an average of 2 minutes would result in further savings of £125m.
 
The commission, which was set up by the Government in 2012 and led by Sir Howard Davies, released its interim report in December.
 
As well as short-listing a second runway at Gatwick and two options to expand Heathrow, it also looked at short and medium-terms options to make “the best use of existing airport capacity”.
 
While the introduction of a “mixed-mode” system was not recommended as a short-term measure, in part because of the increase in noise it would entail, the commission did not rule-out its adoption “as part of a transition to the preferred longer-term option”.
York Aviation looked at all of the options initially considered by Sir Howard, including the use of Northolt as a reliever airport, a proposal that the commission said was not “a realistic option for managing capacity at Heathrow”.
 
Gavin Hayes, director of aviation, said that while the research shows that short-term measures would be beneficial to the UK economy and increase airport capacity, they are nevertheless “quite limited”.
 
“What this demonstrates is that the Government really do need to get on with a long-term solution, because it’s the long-term solution that’s going to deliver the big economic benefits.”
 
The Department for Transport said: "The UK’s airport network is extremely well connected, both regionally and globally, but it is important that we look at the UK’s aviation needs both now and in the future. That is why that Airports Commission is looking at a long term solution for our airports. We are considering the Commission’s interim recommendations and expect to respond in the spring."
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