5 OCTOBER 2015
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The suggestion that air quality represents a significant obstacle to airport expansion should be given only limited weight, Sir Howard Davies has said.
In letters to the Department for Transport and the London Assembly, the head of the Airports Commission also said ministers should ignore “misguided” claims from Gatwick over issues such as noise pollution.
Sir Howard denied the commission had "played down" the noise impact of an expanded Heathrow and said up to 200,000 people could face less noise as a result of a third runway. He noted the government was also tackling pollution concerns at the airport.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick, said: "Many people will be surprised that Sir Howard maintains that ‘limited weight’ should be placed on the issue of air quality as an obstacle to airport expansion.
"It is currently at illegal levels at Heathrow and it is hard to see how millions more car journeys with a third runway will not make it even worse. Only Gatwick can guarantee that the country gets the economic benefits that it needs from aviation expansion."
Prime Minister David Cameron has said a decision on which airport to choose for runway expansion will be made by the end of the year. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/airports-commission
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Michael Asher, Istanbul
I do get fed up with the constant Heathrow v Gatwick arguments, as relevant and thoughtful as they are. Surely the answer is to say they can BOTH be built if they can raise the necessary funds privately. All growth predictions are probably way under reality and the same capacity shortage will be in the news again in less than a decade.