15th February, 2008
A new report, published on 14th Jan, has undermined the central pillar of the Government’s case for a third runway at Heathrow – benefits to the economy. The importance of the study goes well beyond Heathrow because claimed economic benefits are the main justification for increasing airport capacity across the country. The government wants to more than double the amount of flying by 2030, despite the environmental impacts.
The study – “The economics of Heathrow expansion” – was carried out by research and consultancy firm CE Delft. It was commissioned by HACAN ClearSkies but, crucially, CE Delft is an independent not-for-profit organisation which has done work for the EU and others.
In justifying a third runway the Department for Transport (DfT) cites a study by Oxford Economic Forecasting (OEF) which was funded mainly by the aviation industry.
Speaking at the launch of the report former Conservative transport minister and candidate for Mayor of London Steve Norris said: “The Government is pushing ahead with plans for a third runway without really understanding what that means for the economy. It seems that the OEF report is fundamentally flawed and that by relying on it the Government are misleading us over the need for a third runway at Heathrow.”
CE Delft’s main criticisms are:
For press release incorporating these key points see http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/briefings/delft.press.release.and.key.points.pdf
For the full report, including an Executive Summary, see http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/4504.final.report.pdf