Stansted airport night flight warning after Davies Commission recommends third Heathrow runway

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport - Credit: Archant

The banning of night flights at Heathrow, suggested by the Davies Commission which has recommended a third runway at Heathrow rather than a second one at Stansted could still have “sinister” implications for the Essex airport, says Saffron Walden MP, Sir Alan Haselhurst.

The report on the future of UK airports, led by Sir Howard Davies has taken five people three years and cost £20million. It has ruled out a second runway for Stansted even though all parties, including the commission, agree that the existing runway at Stansted will be full in 15 years.

After The Davies Commission reported yesterday (Wednesday), Sir Alan said: “I’m on alert”.

He told the Reporter: “I understand that Sir Howard has suggested ending night flights at Heathrow. That has sinister implications. If they are not there, they will have to go somewhere. I don’t want to see the transfer of night flights to Stansted.”

He added: “We have the likes of FedEx and UPS. They are a very important industry. You can have a package from across the world delivered by 10am the following morning but that involves flights at unsocial hours.

“The dominant players at Stansted are RyanAir and EasyJet and the reason they can offer cheap flights is that they have continuous usage. Planes don’t make money while they are standing on the ground.”

Stansted bosses and Essex County Council have both called for better rail links to the terminus.

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Andrew Harrison, managing director of Stansted Airport, said: “The Government must act now and invest in a world-class rail link. This will enable the airport to play a crucial role in the UK economy. Heathrow and Gatwick are already full but Stansted can accommodate an extra 20-25million passengers a year on its runway, so it’s essential to unlock its full potential.”

The Leader of Essex County Council, David Finch has called for the Government to act on Davies Report’s recommendations.

Councillor Finch said: “We believe a third runway at Heathrow is the most viable option. It’s affordable, practical and consolidates Heathrow’s position as the UK’s central airport.”

The suggestion of an island airport in the Thames has been dismissed by Essex County Council a “flight of fancy, as has a second runway at Stansted. Though the council concedes that may be inevitable after 2030, when Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and the Davies Commission both say the existing runway will be full.

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