1st October 2008

Conservative leader rejects Stansted runway plans

In the clearest statement to date of Conservative policy on Stansted Airport, David Cameron today [1 October] confirmed his party’s opposition to the development of a second runway at the BAA-owned airport. The news comes hot on the heels of the rejection by his party of a third runway at Heathrow.

David Cameron made his announcement during an interview with BBC TV Look East at the Conservatives conference in Birmingham, saying: “We’ve never supported plans for a second runway at Stansted. What we support is the high speed rail link option from London to Birmingham and Manchester which we think would radically reduce the number of internal flights and take the pressure off airport expansion.”

Asked directly if there would be no second runway at Stansted under a Conservative Government, David Cameron replied: “We’ve said that it’s never been part of our plans.”

Commenting on the news, Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign Director said: “The Conservatives have long acknowledged that Stansted, as a leisure-airport, is not of any strategic importance to the UK economy. Nevertheless, to have confirmation from the party leader is highly significant for our campaign.”

“We cannot be complacent however, or rely solely on a change of Government to thwart the second runway plans and our challenge now is to prepare our case for the public inquiry which will take place to consider the application, starting next April. Two public inquiry Inspectors and one Royal Commission have ruled against major development at Stansted over the past 40 years. We will do everything in our power to ensure that history is repeated with the rejection of this latest attempt to make Stansted bigger than Heathrow.”

Campaigning to ensure Stansted Airport's authorised operations stay below harmful limits