Additional airport capacity is needed in the South East, claims the CAA in a report today. This is strongly disputed by AEF and WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature).
Research conducted by AEF for WWF-UK indicates that the UK already has enough airport capacity to accommodate the maximum level of aviation growth in the sector that would be compatible with the sector’s emissions cap. The Government has ruled out additional runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted following calls from both local and national organisations to reign in airport growth given rising levels of noise disturbance and CO2 emissions from the sector.
Official forecasts for air passenger demand growth, which have traditionally informed airports policy, were recently downgraded. Government plans for a revised national aviation policy are due to be published in March 2012.
The CAA is neither an arm of Government nor a truly independent regulator since it is funded entirely by the aviation industry, for which it provides services.