Minister's call for Davies Commission to consider cost to taxpayer is welcomed by Heathrow Hub author Captain Jock Lowe, writes Lewis Brown.
Expansion proposals to the Airports Commission should take account of implications for taxpayers, according to new Transport Minister Robert Goodwill MP.
“The Government expects, in line with its terms of reference, that the Airports Commission will take account of the public finances when making recommendations”, said Mr Goodwill in response to a Parliamentary question from Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith.
Concorde’s longest-serving pilot Captain Jock Lowe, who co-authored the CPS report Heathrow Hub earlier this year, has welcomed the news.
“Robert Goodwill is totally right. Of course the Airports Commission should take into account the implications for taxpayers of any airport expansion”, said Captain Lowe.
Heathrow Hub is an innovative solution that involves dividing the current runways at the airport to almost double capacity. The authors claim that their plans mitigate any noise and pollution concerns associated with Heathrow expansion, as well as requiring significantly less compulsory purchase than the airport’s own plans.
The Davies Commission has promised a short-list of ‘credible’ options for airport expansion in their December interim report. Captain Lowe feels the Hub plan, written with HS1 promoter Mark Bostock, has a clear advantage for taxpayers.
“At an estimate of £12.5 billion, the costs of building the Heathrow Hub are not only the cheapest proposal, they can be met almost exclusively by the private sector. Heathrow Hub is the most practical and cost effective idea in front of the Airports Commission.”
Watch the recent Centre for Policy Studies panel event with Captain Lowe, Steve Baker MP, City A.M. Editor Allister Heath and the IOD's Graeme Leach: