16 JANUARY 2012
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Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), a quasi government body, is the latest organisation of influence to state that the UK requires additional runway capacity in the south-east. In a report published last Tuesday (9 January) the chief aviation regulator has come down firmly for an increase.
Andrew Haines, CAA Chief Executive, said: “Additional capacity would offer significant benefits for consumers, and for the UK as a whole, so long as it is delivered in an environmentally sustainable way.”
With the government’s stated policy of ‘no new runways’ this authority’s report will add to the pressure on Downing Street for a more positive medium-term aviation policy, any Thames estuary project a long way off. The spring aviation review may well include a reference to RAF Northolt, the existing one time commercial airport in the London suburbs north of Heathrow. Another possible way out for government is to increase both Heathrow movements and throughput by the so-called ‘mixed mode’ use of the current two runways and a policy compelling airlines to increase the average capacity of the equipment they are using. www.caa.co.uk
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