16th December 2003
White Paper Proposals for Stansted are ‘Pie in the Sky’
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) described proposals for expanding Stansted Airport as ‘pie in the sky’ following publication of the Air Transport White Paper today, 16 December.
“Governments don’t build runways,” said SSE Chairman Norman Mead. “BAA could only proceed with an extra runway at Stansted if there were no legal or regulatory barriers and if there was clear market demand. The project would also need to be environmentally sustainable, commercially viable and capable of being financed. The prospect of Stansted ever being able to meet these criteria is remote.”
“The idea of a second Stansted runway is illogical and undeliverable,” continued Mr Mead. “The government’s ‘green’ credentials are now totally discredited by this White Paper whose clear message is ‘to hell with protecting the environment, our national heritage and local communities: planes take priority.’ Well – we’ll see about that!”
The group is also contemptuous of BAA which has hidden behind the government throughout the debate. It is calling on the company to put its cards on the table and declare its intentions for expansion without delay. “The community is entitled to know precisely what plans BAA now has for Stansted and the company should prepare itself for massive opposition” commented Norman Mead.
SSE is committed to pursuing a vigorous and relentless challenge to a second Stansted runway which will include legal, regulatory and planning routes, notably the UK and European courts and authorities, as well as the European Commission.
“The phoney war is over and now the real battle begins,” said Norman Mead. “It will not end until we have forced the abandonment of these pie-in-the-sky proposals.”