13 June 2002
Darling ready to expand Stansted with extra runway
By Barrie Clement Transport Editor
Stansted is "virtually
certain" to get an additional runway as part of government plans
The expected decision will
cause deep dismay among environmentalists and residents, but the Essex
airport is considered to be the easiest option because the area around
it has a
Internal advice to the Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling, also points out that Stansted has relatively good links with London. The airport is alongside the M11 and has a fast rail link with Liverpool Street station in the City.
Far more difficult for Mr Darling
will be the location of two other runways in the South-east if he decides
to meet the growing demand for air travel rather than suppress it. John
Among the options is the construction of a new airport at Cliffe on the Kent side of the Thames Estuary, or extra runways at Heathrow or Gatwick.
Mr Darling is due to publish
a consultation document within the next few weeks in which the
The Freedom to Fly Coalition,
a pressure group in favour of "sustainable" growth in air travel,
Lady Dean said a measured expansion of capacity was vital to aviation, which generates more than half a million jobs in Britain. She pointed out that many airports were congested already, at a time when the Government was forecasting a doubling of passengers within the next 20 years.
There are plans as
yet unapproved to build a short runway at Heathrow, which would
* Air travellers, including
millions of holidaymakers, face a summer of disruption after air traffic
controllers rejected a 6 per cent pay offer by the part-privatised National