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Transport experts claim airport expansion green issues can be solved

Published: Thursday, 10th March 2016

Concerns over noise and local air quality which pose a major question mark over the expansion of airport capacity in south east England are significant but not insurmountable issues.

This is according to a report from the Independent Transport Commission. 

The ITC is Britain’s foremost independent land use and transport think tank and reflects the views of many transport academics and professionals.

The report noted that continuous improvement in automotive technology should significantly reduce the impact of airport traffic on NOx levels (currently a major problem).

It also argued that the introduction of aircraft built on new technology like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 would deliver “quantifiable improvements in noise”.

However the commission has highlighted that the two airports vying for expansion (Heathrow and Gatwick) remain behind global leaders in terms of high levels of access by public transport.

The report called for closer integration of the airports’ public transport access with the rail network not just to London but also the rest of the South East, Midlands and the West.

“These findings suggest that noise and local air quality impacts can be managed downwards given the right mix of operational, policy and technological development, while incremental improvements in carbon emission output are being delivered on an annual basis” insisted ITC commissioner Dr Stephen Hickey.

View the report

Roger Milne