LondonNet News Headlines
01/05/03
Airport Expansion is On the Cards
- Government warns of air fare increase without more London runways

EARLY signs that the government is keen to expand London's airport capacity emerged today after an official report warned fares would rise without a fresh round of runway building.

The Department for Transport is considering the future of London's airports, with leading airport operator BAA calling for at least three new runways while residents who live near the capital's airports campaigning against any such expansion.

Clues as to which way the government would fall have been thin on the ground recently, but today a DfT source said, "the greater the shortfall of capacity below the number of people who want to travel, the higher will be the cost of air travel."

Experts have warned that with air travel to and from London set to double by 2015, fares could likewise double on some short haul routes, the very routes that have seen a big increase in demand thanks to the success of budget airfare companies.

All three London airports - Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted - have been earmarked for expansion, with Stansted thought to be favourite to get an extra runway or possibly two.



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