10th September 2012

SSE welcomes establishment of independent Airports Commission

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has welcomed the Government’s decision to establish an independent commission to look at aviation connectivity issues.

Commenting, Chairman Peter Sanders said: “We are obviously disappointed that the Government is not simply adhering to the policy which it laid down at the beginning of this Parliament, that there should be no more runways in the south-east. But it has been clear for some time now that, in response to heavy lobbying by the aviation industry, it was about to review this policy, and it has also been clear that in this review all possibilities were going to be open for consideration, including expansion at Stansted.”

“This weakening of the Government’s position is regrettable, indeed deplorable. But given this background we welcome the appointment of an independent commission that will, we hope, examine the evidence and the arguments in a comprehensive and objective way.”

“There have been three independent assessments in the past, and all of them have concluded that there should not be any more runways at Stansted.

  • In the early 1960s the Chelmsford Inquiry under Inspector Blake concluded that a major airport at Stansted would be ‘a calamity for the neighbourhood’.
  • In the late 1960s and early 1970s the Roskill Commission tried to find the best site for a major airport, and concluded that eight other sites were more suitable than Stansted. (In a minority report one member of the Commission recommended Maplin, a recommendation which the Government of the day accepted.)
  • In the 1980s Inspector Eyre concluded that an extra runway at Stansted would be ‘an unprecedented and wholly unacceptable major environmental and visual disaster’.

We have every reason to believe that this new commission will reach the same conclusion.”

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