Victoria Borwick, Deputy Mayor of London
Katja Hall, Chief Policy Director, CBI
The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Dean of Thornton-le Fylde
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association
Runways UK is a series of events centred around the short, medium and long term aviation capacity issues currently facing the United Kingdom. It is about reconciling government, infrastructure and the transport industries together under one roof, in a neutral environment, to debate the options and help catalyse the solutions.
The organisers of Runways UK believe that there is a strong case for aviation capacity expansion in the UK, but are entirely independently financed and unaligned to any of the runway options. Runways UK was established shortly after Sir Howard Davies was asked by PM David Cameron to lead a Commission into the issue in 2012. Since then events have been timed to coincide with key milestones in the debate. The Airports Commission released its Final Report on 1st July 2015 in which a strong case for expansion in the South East was made, and of its three short-listed schemes (one at Gatwick and two at Heathrow) it recommended Heathrow Airport's NW runway proposal as the preferred option (though all three schemes were deemed viable).
Our most recent event on 6/7 July 2015, immediately after this report was released, attracted over 500 delegates and provided an opportunity to hear key stakeholder analysis of, and reaction to, the Commission's recommendations. This high profile debate marked the climax of nearly three years of detailed evidence-based analysis on the country's long-term aviation capacity and connectivity needs. The two-day event also considered how we make best use of existing resources prior to any new runway capacity coming on stream.
Since then the Government has considered Sir Howard's evidence, accepting the case for expansion and the shortlist of options, but has stopped short of making a final decision. In his statement to the House on 14th December Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP announced that they will continue to consider all three schemes with a view to making a final decision in summer 2016. Runways UK is currently developing a programme for its next event which will take place prior to the conclusion of this work in early summer 2016. This will provide an opportunity for you to hear the results of the various packages of work which will be carried out by all three scheme owners. Further details will follow soon.
Our advisory board, chaired by Baroness Dean, includes a broad range of experts and thought-leaders who help shape the event