Airports Commission releases short-list of airport expansion options

19th December 2013

This week the Airports Commission released its interim report, in which it short-listed three options for increasing UK airport capacity. The Airports Commission concluded that one additional runway will be needed in the south east by 2030 and that the only viable options for this are to build a new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow, or to extend one of Heathrow’s existing runways.

The ITC contributed to the Airport Commission’s work through its Flying into the Future report earlier this year, and it will continue to engage in the research work of the Airports Commission, for example through its publication next month of a report on the optimum size for a UK hub airport.

Forecasts show that air travel will continue to grow in absolute terms and as a proportion of miles travelled but some people question this and advocate interventions to reduce such growth in order to protect the environment. The ITC believes that an understanding of why people travel – their fundamental motivations – will be an important part of future decision making at all levels, from strategic infrastructure like airports to local plans, social policy and even individual life choices. To this end, the ITC’s Why Travel? project explores our underlying motivations for travel from a wide range of perspectives. See for more information.