18 FEBRUARY 2013

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Article from BTNews 18 FEBRUARY 2013

Assembly talks airports

City Hall (misnamed – see below) was the venue last week for a roundtable discussion by the Transport Committee of the London Assembly on air transport needs.  This is an entirely separate process to that being personally orchestrated by TfL for the Mayor of London.  The Committee also heard representations on 15 January and will discuss Crossrail on 7 March.  It will make a representation to Davies.

Members interviewed Daniel Moylan, representing The Mayor; Nigel Milton, Policy Director, Heathrow (LHR); Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick (LGW); Nick Barton, currently MD, Stansted (STN); Iain Osborne, CAA; Hugh Aitken, Commercial Manager easyJet; and Paul Harwood, Network Rail.

Moylan was put in his place by Caroline Pidgeon, Chair (Liberal) for suggesting he knew more than NATS when it came to air traffic problems, and claimed 35% connectivity (Heathrow).  He also stated that an estuary airport should be built by Government funds and then sold off.  Asked what was his preferred order for new airport sites, Moylan replied that it was Thames Estuary in 10 years, Thames Estuary in 20 years and Thames Estuary in 30 years!

Stewart Wingate said that the six major runways solution for London was ideal (2xLHR, 2xLGW, 2xSTN) and pointed out that at Gatwick there was 8% connecting traffic.  Nigel Milton noted that Heathrow as the UK's only hub airport is full and more hub capacity is required if the UK is not to miss out on billions of pounds of lost trade and tourism revenue.

Overseas readers (and even those UK resident) confused over the London buildings will note that the former headquarters of the London County Council (LCC) County Hall is now a Marriot, that the City of London is run from Guildhall (in the City) and that City Hall, in the London Borough of Southwark, is misnamed, and is the administrative headquarters of the Greater London Authority, which has no rights over the City of London.  www.london.gov.uk/moderngov/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=173

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