'Smarter' South East airport capacity needed

  • 1 May 2013
  • From the section London
Gatwick control tower
Image caption The Airport Commission is currently considering how to improve the South East's capacity

Airports in the South East need to use their capacity in a "smarter way" to maximise potential, the London Assembly has said.

A report showed that only 47% of runway capacity at Stansted Airport was used during 2012.

The assembly said the statistics were worth considering before alternative schemes were approved.

Plans including a new airport in the Thames Estuary are being considered to increase capacity in the South East.

A third runway at Heathrow and increased use of Gatwick have also been suggested.

The report also suggested that passengers should be encouraged to switch from Heathrow to the other airports by improving transport access from central London during transfers.

A commission chaired by ex-Financial Services Authority boss Sir Howard Davies is to consider a number of options to expand capacity and report back in 2015.

In a statement it said it would "deliver a shortlist of credible proposals" and the "commission will also identify ways in which we can make even better use of the capacity which already exists".

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