Developing a third runway at London Heathrow Airport is the “obvious” solution to the gateway’s congestion problem, a new report has concluded.
The study, commissioned by the City of London Authority, deemed that “significant” environmental costs fail to outweigh the benefits of extra capacity.
It also dismissed alternative proposals for expansion at London Stansted Airport or for a new airport at the Thames Estuary.
While acknowledging that there would be discernible “local environmental impacts,” researchers labelled Heathrow the “obvious preferred candidate” for capacity enlargement.
They warned that failure to expand could jeopardise the capital’s status as a global financial hub, with many executives already voicing discontent over delays at Heathrow.
“The survey and analysis undertaken in this study reinforce the requirement for good access to air services as an essential attribute supporting London’s role as the world’s leading business and financial centre,” the authors wrote.
“The obvious preferred candidate for expansion to meet the city’s needs is Heathrow, through delivery of the third runway.”
However, on the same day the report was released, former chief scientific adviser to the government Sir David King said the plan for a third runway amounted to a “white elephant”.
He said expanding flights into and out of the airport is economically unsound due to the rising tax burden of CO2 emissions.