The findings of the Gateway Associates Key Influencer Survey on proposals for a hub airport in the Thames
Estuary were published today at a Parliamentary event chaired by Brian Donohoe MP, the Chair of the
Aviation All Party Parliamentary Group.
The report consolidated the views of 67 of the most influential private, public, local, national and
international stakeholders and concludes that the Coalition Government has to act quickly if it wishes to
prevent the country’s aviation industry and UK Plc from being grounded by competitor markets in Europe.
Respondents to the survey believe that if Heathrow is not fully included in the Davies Commission’s analysis then
the work will need to be redone in future to rectify the omission, by which time the UK will have lost its
aviation advantage to newer and larger hub airports in Europe.
This frustration is further reflected with the call to ‘Get on with it’ since most believe the timescale
for reaching a decision could be significantly reduced. In fact, the current plan to deliver the Davies
Commission’s report and Government’s response after the 2015 general election is thought by some to be
timed for political rather than economic or social advantage.
This unnecessary procrastination will have a significantly negative impact on communities in the Thames
Estuary, and those around London and regional UK airports, while they are left waiting on tenterhooks.
Many also believe that the environment will be completely side-lined and ignored when it comes to making
the eventual decision about future aviation development.
Paul Clark, Director of Gateway Associates and former Transport Minister, said: “I am grateful to everyone
who gave their time and contributed so fully to this report. The key influencers have made it clear that they
want the Davies Commission to act transparently looking at all options and for a speedy conclusion to this
“Their real concern centres on the competitive position of UK Plc and the on-going uncertainty blighting
households, the environment and business.
“All political parties need to recognise the genuine concerns expressed in this report and urge everyone
involved to prepare the way for a decision to be made sooner rather than later,” added Clark.
The report was compiled jointly by Clark and two other Gateway Associates: business and government
communications specialist Katrina Krishnan Doyle and aviation industry expert Rob Sibley. Together they
have analysed the responses and set out six specific recommendations to politicians and policy officials
detailing the steps that need to be taken to ensure a decision can be reached quickly and that money and
time are not wasted as a result of delays:
Do not ignore Heathrow
Get to the decision sooner
Align policies across Whitehall
Find your customer in advance
Publish a decision making criteria
Be upfront about funding and compensation