Londoners will be given the chance to air their views on a third runway at Heathrow and a new hub airport – via the power of social media.
Members of London Assembly’s Transport Committee have decided to tap into the general public’s psyche by publicising their latest investigation into airport capacity on Facebook and Twitter.
A report into the consultation said: “The committee will seek Londoners’ views on airport capacity. The investigation will be publicised on the London Assembly website and through social media.”
The findings of the investigation will be presented to the independent Airports Commission, set up by the UK Government and led by Sir Howard Davies, which is currently looking at how the UK should expand its hub capacity.
The committee also recommended spending €25,000 to commission an external contractor to provide “technical advice and support” for the investigation.
This decision is expected to be rubber stamped by the Greater London Authority’s Oversight Committee later this month, at which stage, work on the investigation will begin.
Written submissions will be sought, by the end of 2012, from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, London’s airport operators, the Civil Aviation Authority, London Boroughs and Councils, and environmental groups, among others.
The committee will then use these submissions to inform discussions at two public meetings on January 15 and February 6.
Following these meetings, the committee will publish its findings and report to the Airports Commission by May 2013.
The London Assembly’s investigation is significant, as the assembly is the body which holds the Mayor of London to account.
Boris Johnson has been a vocal opponent of a third runway at London Heathrow, and has championed a new four-runway hub in the Thames Estuary, leading the idea to be dubbed “Boris Island”.
The Mayor met with Sir Howard yesterday to discuss airport capacity, while today (November 14), Heathrow’s chief executive, Colin Matthews, will launch a report entitled One Hub Or None, which will be sent to the Davies Commission.