We are delighted to announce that Theresa Villiers MP, Minister of State for Transport will give the keynote address at this conference.
UK aviation strategy is at a crossroads. The Government has accepted the need to address hub capacity in the South East and will look at a number of options to maintain the UK's status as an aviation hub. In a speech last week, David Cameron said he was "not blind to the need to increase airport capacity, particularly in the South East".
Chancellor George Osborne is reportedly pushing for a U-turn over plans for a third runway at Heathrow despite it being recently ruled out. In his budget he announced that the aviation consultation would be delayed to the summer.
This timely conference will address the key questions that this change in policy direction will pose:
- What is the economic case for increased hub capacity?
- How insurmountable are the objections to a Thames Estuary airport: cost to the taxpayer, catastrophic bird strikes, proximity to Schiphol airspace?
- How will a Thames Estuary airport be financed?
- What would be the impact on businesses that have made location decisions to be close to Heathrow?
- Should we be doing more to utilise the spare capacity at regional airports?