Expansion of Heathrow

Meeting: 
MQT on 2007-12-12
Session date: 
December 12, 2007
Reference: 
2007/2915
Question By: 
Mike Tuffrey
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Given the economic arguments put forward by the government for the expansion of Heathrow, will you commission the GLA's economists to conduct an impact assessment to identify the negative economic impacts to Londoners if expansion were to go ahead and highlight the benefits of alternatives such as rail for short-haul, so that a fully rounded picture is available?"

Answer

Answer for Expansion of Heathrow

Answer for Expansion of Heathrow

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The GLA Economics Unit commissioned a study in 2006 into the economic impact of expanding Heathrow airport and this can be found on our website. It raises a number of points including: an overestimate of the benefits of expanding the airport; a lack of consideration of measures to make more efficient use of existing capacity through operational responses to capacity constraints, such as the use of larger aircraft and an increase in load factors; it questions the employment benefits as a result of expanding one airport compared with another and furthermore the fact that constraining airport capacity will not necessarily lead to the potential loss of jobs, just a different distribution of jobs. It also questions that expansion will generate net tourism benefits. Current evidence suggests that UK tourists spend more overseas than foreign tourists spend in the UK. I would be happy for my office to discuss these issues with you. The GLA is currently undertaking a new study on the alternatives for short-haul air travel. This is due to be completed in the new year and I will of course share this with the Assembly when it is finalised.