To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the statement by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 14 December 2015 (HL Deb, col 1885) on aviation capacity, what additional work is now being undertaken on (1) air quality, (2) noise, (3) carbon emissions, (4) surface access to airports, (5) managing the wider impacts of airports on local communities, and (6) the funding and financing of new runways; and when this work will be complete.
We are testing the Airports Commission’s work on air quality further against the Government’s new air quality plan, as recommended by the Environmental Audit Committee. This is additional work to test compliance, and build confidence that expansion can take place within legal limits. The further work on air quality is only one element of a wider package of further work.
We are dealing with concerns about noise to get the best outcome for residents, and doing more work on carbon to address concerns on sustainability, particularly during construction. We want to make sure that communities get the best possible mitigation deal.
In addition, we are doing due diligence on the plans for surface access to the airports by talking to both the promoters and the key delivery bodies.
We are also carrying out extra assurance to assess the runways’ potential both locally and nationally so it can deliver more jobs, more growth and more apprenticeships.
On funding and financing, the Airports Commission has provided an extensive examination of the costs, financing, and commercial viability of airport expansion. The Airports Commission and the scheme promoters have made it clear that new runway capacity will be privately delivered and financed.
We anticipate that all this further work will conclude over the summer.