The Government recognises that all three schemes for expansion in the South East are projected to result in other airports experiencing lower growth in flights than they would have otherwise seen. However, while a Northwest Runway at Heathrow will help to secure the UK’s status as a global aviation hub, other airports will continue to develop their point-to-point networks. The Department’s aviation forecasts show that passenger numbers and flights at airports within the South East (excluding Heathrow) will increase by 33 per cent and 20 per cent respectively between 2016 and 2050 with expansion at Heathrow.
London is the largest aviation origin and destination market in the world, and the forecasts show demand for this market growing further. This will continue to provide opportunities for airports around London and in the South East, including Stansted, to increase their services alongside any expansion at Heathrow over the longer term. Individual airport commercial strategies – which are not modelled – could help these airports to grow even faster and further.
Lastly, as the Secretary of State set out in his oral statement on 05 June, any new operational runway at Heathrow is still a number of years away. This is why Government supports airports beyond Heathrow making best use of their existing runways. However, the Government recognises that the development of airports can have positive and negative effects, including on noise levels, and it considers that any proposals should be judged on their individual merits by the appropriate planning authority, taking careful account of all relevant considerations, particularly economic and environmental.