Beware a 'white elephant', airports commission told

Beware a 'white elephant', airports commission told

The Davies Commission will receive final submissions on proposals for new runways in the southeast today, with Manchester Airports Group (MAG) to propose expansion at Stansted.

However, the British Air Transport Association (Bata) which represents UK airlines, will tell the Davies Commission to beware recommending a “white elephant”.

MAG, which recently took over Stansted, will argue for a second runway at the airport regardless of where new hub capacity is sited.

But the group will say Stansted is the best alternative to Heathrow for a four-runway hub airport to serve the southeast.

In a statement ahead of the commission’s deadline for submissions, Bata said: “It is crucial any new airport capacity is both affordable and located where airlines and passengers will use it.

“Unaffordable or poorly located capacity will not be used and risks being a white elephant.”

Bata chief executive Simon Buck said the commission could not duck the need to develop hub capacity in the UK

He said: “Relying on overseas airports will lead to a degradation of UK connectivity while existing UK hub capacity withers.

“We would be handing a strategic national asset and resource to foreign interests.”

The Davies Commission is due to produce interim recommendations by the end of this year, with a full report on whether and where to develop new hub capacity after the next election in 2015.


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