The recently formed South East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff to carry out a new study to identify how airports in the Greater South East can be more effective and efficient and their growth potential.
The South East LEP, which covers East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock, aims to develop its own aviation policy to enable it to influence government proposals. Central government already has its own South East Airports Taskforce.
“This is a critical study for assessing capacity within the South East airport system,” said Parsons Brinckerhoff European head of aviation Clive Coleman. “It is also very timely considering the Chancellor’s announcement in the budget to undertake a review of south east England runway capacity.”
The study will consider how to “squeeze” as much capacity as possible from existing major airports along with the additional services available from emerging and new airports — while balancing air space design constraints, investment costs and surface access needs.
“We understand how vital additional capacity is to meet the projected growth in passengers and cargo,” added Coleman. “And how important it is going to be to increase the UK’s access to emerging markets and BRIC countries as well as assist the growth of inbound tourism.”