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Lords Economic Affairs Committee to question Sir Howard Davies on Airport Commission findings

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will next week hold a one-off evidence session with Sir Howard Davies, Chairman of the Airports Commission, following the recent publication of the Commission's report.

The session, which will be Sir Howard's first appearance in front of a Parliamentary Committee since the publication of the report, will focus on the Commission's economic modelling which used a bespoke model rather than the traditional method of undertaking aviation transport appraisals which consider the direct impact of a scheme on users, providers and government revenue.

Questions the Committee are expected to put to Sir Howard include:

  • How confident was the Commission that there is sustained demand for additional runway capacity at Heathrow?
  • Can the UK meet its climate change obligations at the same time as increasing aviation?
  • Given that the Commission's own calculations estimate that the return on investment for a new runway at Heathrow is 8x investment and Gatwick's is 13x investment why did the Commission recommend Heathrow as the preferred option?
  • Why was the Commission so confident that an expanded Gatwick could not serve as a hub airport?
  • Given that many other hub airports have four runways why is the Commission asking the Government to block Heathrow at three?
  • How will a ban on night flights work with the aspiration for more long haul flights particularly flights from Asia? Can the local community be confident the ban will be maintained?

The evidence session will start at 4:05pm on Wednesday 15 July in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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