National and London politicians assessing the future of the capital’s air links need to make decisions “based on their merits” according to Baroness Jo Valentine, head of the business lobbyists London First.
In an article for Transport Times, Baroness Valentine warns that ruling out potential solutions such as additional runways at existing airports “can only undermine” the Government’s forthcoming review of national aviation policy.
While Valentine describes Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s proposed Thames Estuary airport as a “laudable long-term vision” she warns the proposal, which is opposed by local politicians and environmental campaigners, could have an adverse impact on future aviation policy.
Valentine writes: “Both the Government and the Mayor say they will refine their policies this year. Neither begins with an open mind. The Government has ruled out additional runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. Boris similarly opposes Heathrow’s incremental growth, and is silent on new runways elsewhere in London.
“The danger must be that a strategy for London’s international links will run aground on the sandbanks of Boris island – a distant and laudable long-term vision that allows the most difficult medium term decisions to be passed down to the next generation of politicians.”
Baroness Valentine says London’s air links are ‘one of its greatest assets” and that easy access is vital if the capital and its businesses are to attract overseas investment.