Stansted Airport: Government urged to rethink runway strategy

ENGINEERING experts have urged the Government to rethink its plans for aviation and airport development, including its decision to ban new runways at Stansted and Heathrow.

In its Rethinking Aviation report published today (July 20), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) warns that a ‘better not bigger’ approach to airport runway capacity could seriously undermine the UK’s global connectivity and competitiveness.

ICE aviation expert Simon Godfrey-Arnold said the policy could result in the UK lagging behind North European rivals that have been boosting their hub runway capacity at a considerable rate.

He added: “We agree the green agenda must be priority, and realise that when it comes to the UK’s airport infrastructure needs, there are some tough political and public choices.

“But we believe there are choices that can secure the best outcomes for the environment, society and the economy.”

The Government has ruled out building additional runway capacity in the South East as part of the aim to reduce aviation emissions.

The ICE agrees that unrestrained growth in demand for air travel without quick improvements in aircraft efficiency would damage the environment and needs addressing.

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But it urges the Government to think carefully about the UK’s long-term airport infrastructure needs and the wider implications of its decision.

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