Here is the Government Response to the Transport Committee’s First Report of Session 2015–16 Surface Transport to Airports inquiry.
This inquiry was aimed at airports processing one million plus passengers which could be a feasible future vision for Manston Airport.
The aim of the inquiry was to promote greater use of public transport to airports as part of its approach to a competitive aviation sector and to address the needs of both passengers and airport workers.
There are 19 recommendations from the Government to the Transport Committee which was chaired by Louise Ellman.
The Committee’s recommendation 15 is particularly interesting information for any of the new investors for Manston Airport:
“We recommend that the Government require any airport operator making a successful application to expand their airport to assess the effect of their plans on local transport networks, to work with infrastructure operators on the measures needed to provide relief for any damaging impact, and to make a contribution to the cost of such improvements. In cases where there is compelling evidence that airport expansion would act as a catalyst for significant local economic development, the Government should work in partnership with local authorities and airports to identify relevant surface access infrastructure improvements and help to develop a multi-party funding solution (Paragraph 89).
The Government’s response:
The Aviation Policy Framework is clear that proposals for airport development must be accompanied by surface access proposals which demonstrate how the airport will minimise congestion and other local impacts. It is also clear that developers should pay the costs of upgrading or enhancing road, rail or other transport networks or services where there is a need to cope with additional passengers travelling to and from expanded airports.
The Government’s National Policy Statement for National Networks states that the impacts on other transport networks will always need to be considered, assessed and mitigated as part of the planning application and approvals process for schemes. As part of the consenting process for these projects, scheme promoters are expected to collaborate closely with other network providers at an early stage. This will help support better integration across networks managed by different operators.
Where an infrastructure scheme is required on the local road network to support increased capacity at an airport, the airport operator would need to consult with the local planning authority to ensure that the proposals are consistent with the local plan. If the airport would have an impact on neighbouring planning authorities they would need to ensure that their proposals also complied with those local plans.
The Government would encourage airports to consider how their expansion proposals might support local economic growth and rejuvenation and to work with local authorities and LEPs on funding options for their transport projects. Some airports have been particularly proactive in this regard, for example Luton which has benefited from a number of transport projects, eg the Luton Dunstable Busway and the M1 junction 10a improvement scheme, which have wider local economic benefits and for which a multi-party funding solution was agreed.”
The proposed new Thanet Parkway station, for which money has already been set aside, would support the surface transport to Manston Airport as would the proposed upgrading of the HS1 line.
In addition to this the cost of upgrading local roads would need to be a consideration of any new investor if their plans involved a passenger focused operation.
This paragraph is particularly relevant to Manston’s position –
“In cases where there is compelling evidence that airport expansion would act as a catalyst for significant local economic development, the Government should work in partnership with local authorities and airports to identify relevant surface access infrastructure improvements and help to develop a multi-party funding solution”