6 JULY 2015
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Contrary to reports by the BBC, the use of RAF Northolt to deal with the current deficiency crisis of London flights from the regions has not been ruled out by the Airports Commission (see in this issue). “A plan to open up RAF Northolt – about six miles from Heathrow – for short haul civilian flights was also rejected.” Not so. Paragraph 15.4 says: “The Commission has not taken a position regarding the future use of civilian capacity at RAF Northolt.”
What the report does say, in so many words, is that once a third runway is in operation at Heathrow, Northolt should be closed, probably for military flights as well. BTN is supportive. But not until that point in time. This is Sir Howard’s way of dealing with the airport opposition. Offer an olive branch.
Paraphrased “At Northolt do not be disruptive and we will eventually close the airport entirely.”
Business Travel News believes that RAF Northolt has a vital role to play over the next decade in providing access for the Provinces to and from London, and supporting connections to Heathrow. The motorway system is unlikely to be expanded, HS2 is years away, and the Chancellor says he is cutting back investment in Network Rail. It is not a new runway.
BTN plans a campaign called “Northolt for the People.” We expect the backing of a major airline. www.raf.mod.uk/rafnortholt/aboutus/history.cfm
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