Aviation policy in the past 50 years
The Airports Commission has published its shortlist of options for expanding capacity in the south-east of England, including expansion at Heathrow and Gatwick. But the subject has been under discussion for half a century.
1963 Stansted recommended as the location for a new London airport
1966 Government sets up interdepartmental committee to revisit case for Stansted
1967 Ministerial statement announcing decision to develop Stansted
1968 Government sets up the Roskill Commission to recommend a new London airport
1971 Roskill Commission recommends Cublington, Oxfordshire, as new airport for London
Government selects Maplin Sands, Foulness, Essex, to be London's new hub airport
1974 Maplin Sands proposal abandoned by the government
1978 Aviation White Paper identifies Heathrow capacity as "restricted"
1979 "Gatwick Agreement" between BAA and West Sussex County Council that there will be no operational second runway at the airport before 2019
1990 Government commissions the Runway Capacity in the South East Study
1997 Study concludes that expanding Heathrow "would afford the greatest benefits"
Planning permission granted for second runway at Manchester Airport
2001 Second runway at Manchester Airport completed
2002 Government publishes South East of England Regional Air Services Study, with options for new runway capacity
2003 Air Transport White Paper supports a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow and a second runway at Stansted
2006 Government Progress Report confirms commitment to third runway at Heathrow and a second runway at Stansted
2007 Labour government consults on expanding Heathrow
2009 Government backs a third runway decision (subject to conditions) and rules out mixed-mode operation of existing runways at Heathrow
2010 Coalition government reverses third runway decision and rules out new runways at Gatwick or Stansted
2011 Government publishes "scoping document" on a "sustainable framework for UK aviation"
2012 Government publishes draft aviation policy framework for further consultation
Independent Airports Commission established in November
2013 Commission short-lists three options:
- adding a third runway at Heathrow
- lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow
- adding a new runway at Gatwick
Source: Aviation Foundation