Mayor, Airports Commission and developers to debate aviation capacity

18 June 2014

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, the Chairman of the Airports Commission, Sir Howard Davies, and representatives behind proposals for airport expansion at Gatwick, Heathrow and in the Thames Estuary, will discuss airport expansion at a conference in east London today (18 June). It is the first time that the Mayor, the Chairman of the Commission and the main parties involved in the debate over how to provide more aviation capacity will have met together as a group, and the conference will focus on the contribution new airport capacity can make to meeting the challenges of finding homes and jobs for the extra two million people expected to be living in London by 2030.

Mayor Johnson, Sir Howard, and experts from Gatwick Airport Ltd, Heathrow Airport Ltd, Heathrow hub and Foster & Partners for the Thames Estuary will speak at an event held to discuss how new airport capacity should form part of wider thinking around the long term challenges facing the capital. They will be joined by experts in city planning and aviation from London and overseas.

With London’s population forecast to increase by over 20 per cent by 2030 and 37 per cent by 2050 the Mayor is determined to ensure that a long overdue decision on the best location for airport expansion takes the growth of London, and the requirement for hundreds of thousands of new jobs and homes into account.

Over 200 people are expected to attend “Shaping a growing London: the place of an airport” and as well as the Mayor and the Chairman of the Airports Commission, they will also hear from speakers including:

  • Professor Sir Peter Hall of University College London
  • Professor Dr Alain Thierstein, Professor for Urban Development at the Munich University of Technology
  • John Burton OBE, Development Director of Westfield
  • Stephen Howlett, Chief Executive of Peabody
  • Rt Hon Nick Raynsford MP, Member of Parliament for Greenwich and Woolwich

Professor Tony Travers of the London School of Economics will oversee the event and he will moderate a panel discussion between representatives of all of the main airport scheme promoters. This is the first time all four will have debated the issue in a public forum of this kind. The representatives are:

  • Andrew Macmillan, Director of Strategy, Heathrow Airport Ltd
  • David McMillan, Non-Executive Director, Gatwick Airport Ltd
  • Capt. Jock Lowe, Heathrow Hub
  • Huw Thomas, Partner, Foster + Partners

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The decision on where to put new aviation capacity can and also must contribute to creating the many thousands of new homes and jobs we need to produce to support our ever increasing population. The choice of location is therefore crucial to London's future in many significant ways. I am very pleased that the Chairman of the Airports Commission will join us at an event where we will discuss how to find the right answer for London, with the absolute key being that it be able to deliver the long term growth and connectivity we require.”