Campaigners ‘greatly relieved’ Stansted is not on Airports Commission shortlist

Campaigners are “greatly relieved” that Stansted has not been included in options to expand the country’s aviation capacity.

This morning the Airports Commission has announced proposals which could see a new runway at either Gatwick and Heathrow, but not Stansted.

Brian Ross, economics adviser for campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion, said: “We are obviously greatly relieved that Stansted is not on the shortlist.

“The environmental consequences of even one extra runway would have been catastrophic and the fact is that there has never been a viable business case for any extra runways at Stansted. The airport currently operates at less than half of its potential capacity.”

The proposal to be considered for Gatwick Airport could see one new runway to the south of the existing one.

There are two options for Heathrow: proposals for one new 3,500m runway to the northwest or plans to extend the existing northern runway to at least 6,000m, enabling the extended runway to operate as two independent runways.

The commission has also not ruled out future plans for an airport in the Thames Estuary but said there are “too many uncertainties and challenges” at this stage for it to be considered.

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Mr Ross added: “We must now show solidarity with the communities around Heathrow and Gatwick and support their efforts in resisting the threat that they now face.”

A final report is due by the summer of 2015.