20 JANUARY 2014
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The Air League held the first of its 2014 Parliament briefing sessions last Tuesday hosted by Steve Baker MP, with a presentation to MPs and Lords by Sir Mike Hodgkinson, former CEO of BAA, on the Davies Airport Commission report.
Sir Mike focussed on the location for the next runway, confirming the Air League position on key issues including the priority to develop Heathrow first, that airline economics drives airport choice and development of new infrastructure. He admitted that some airport managers were concerned with maximising retail revenue, not meeting the needs of airlines.
He cited BAA policy on Stansted which failed as airlines focussed on Heathrow then Gatwick. He agreed with Sir Howard’s recommended short list, but remained concerned about developing Gatwick before Heathrow, pointing out in his opinion split hubs did not work.
His concerns were the political antipathy to new runway development from both sides of the Coalition, whilst needing long-term political consensus beyond one parliament; also the fundability and viability of some proposals, particularly the Thames Estuary.
Questions included BAA historical policy on new runways and the possible use of Northolt for regional operations to the Heathrow hub. www.airleague.co.uk
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