COMMONS

Airports National Policy Statement inquiry launched

22 February 2017

The Transport Committee launches an inquiry on the Government's draft Airports National Policy Statement.

Background

In its Final Report (PDF 6.08 MB) in July 2015, the Airports Commission concluded that the proposal for a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport, combined with a significant package of measures to address its environmental and community impacts, presented the strongest case and offered the greatest strategic and economic benefits.

On 25 October 2016, the Government announced that a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport was its preferred scheme to deliver additional airport capacity in the south-east of England. It also confirmed that this would be included in a draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) which provides the primary basis for decision making on development consent applications.

The draft Airports NPS is subject to consultation according to the procedures laid down in the Planning Act 2008, as amended by the Localism Act 2011.

Terms of reference

The draft Airports NPS has been published by the Department for Transport. It sets out:

  • The need for additional airport capacity in the south-east of England
  • Why government believes that need is best met by a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport
  • The specific requirements that the applicant for a new north-west runway will need to meet to gain development consent

The Committee conducts a brief inquiry into the draft Airports NPS. The Committee is particularly interested in receiving submissions on:

  • The clarity of the NPS in terms of scope and its applicability to other airport expansion applications in the South East
  • How well the proposal reflects government policy on airports and aviation more generally
  • The suitability of the Government’s evidence and rationale in support of a north-west runway at Heathrow
  • How well the proposal takes account of other aspects of the Government's transport strategy
  • How comprehensive the proposal is in terms of the supporting measures for affected communities
  • How well the proposal takes account of sustainability and environmental considerations and the adequacy of relevant documentation and information published alongside the draft proposal
  • The extent to which the NPS provides the Secretary of State with the basis for judging applications for development
  • How well the proposal addresses changes to surface access
  • The effectiveness of the Government's consultation on the proposal

The Committee has already announced an inquiry into airspace management and modernisation.

Written submissions

The Committee would be grateful to receive written submissions by 24 March 2017.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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