The recommendations of the Davies Commission on UK airport capacity are expected to be given serious consideration whatever the make-up of the next UK government.
Industry lobbyists on a panel at last week’s Travel Weekly Corporate Business Breakfast agreed it would look weak for any political party to dismiss the report after the next election in 2015, despite the opportunity to make political capital in the interim.
Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Airports Operators Association, said he disagreed with IAG chief Willie Walsh that the report would “lead nowhere”, as Travel Weekly reported last week.
“I think there will be political pressure after the next election to make a decision,” said Caplan. “Willie dislikes politicians full stop.”
Caplan said he expected Howard Davies (pictured), who will issue a draft report later this year, to seek cross-party political consensus before reporting.
“He won’t produce a report that someone can rubbish straightaway,” he added.
“He has said he will report soon after the next election. If the first decision a new prime minister takes, after a process backed by all parties, is to not back the report, it would look pretty weak.”
The Corporate Business Breakfast was the second such event held by Travel Weekly as part of an ongoing series focused on the business travel sector. Last week’s was headline sponsored by Amadeus and supported by easyJet.
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