The consultation presents the commission’s analysis of the proposals shortlisted last year: two for expansion at Heathrow Airport and one proposal at Gatwick Airport.
Led by Sir Howard Davies, it is now inviting public comment on the commission’s detailed consideration of each proposal.
This includes analysis of the cost of each proposal, the effect on communities of noise, property loss and construction, and the economic benefits and environmental impacts.
Gatwick is prosing to build a second runway to the south of the existing runway, at a cost of around €9.5 billion, which includes a new transport interchange and terminal.
Heathrow has put forward a new runway to the north west of the existing northern runway, which would be its third, and cost around €18 billion.
The independent Heathrow Hub Ltd is suggesting an extension to the northern runway at Heathrow at a cost of around €9 billion, that would see it operate as two separate runways,
Sir Howard explains: “Since our Interim report last year we have undertaken a huge amount of work. We have carried out a thorough assessment, across a comprehensive range of subjects, looking at the benefits and impacts of each proposal.
“We have not yet taken a view on which proposal strikes the most effective balance between the assessment criteria. It is important first that we provide an opportunity for this evidence to be examined, challenged and improved. This consultation gives everyone with an interest in the issue of airport expansion that opportunity.
“Responses to this consultation will be a valuable addition to our evidence base and will directly inform our recommendation to the government when we publish our final report in the summer of 2015.
“The information included in this consultation will enable respondents to give their view on the strengths and weaknesses of each short-listed option. It also invites comment on the commission’s review of the underlying evidence and analysis.
“These comments will then be taken into account and used to validate and challenge the commission’s assessments, ahead of the final report in the summer of 2015.”
The consultation period will run for 12 weeks until Tuesday, February 3, and the commission will also hold public discussion sessions at Heathrow on December 3 and at Gatwick on December 16.
Sir Howard and his fellow commission members will give their recommendation on where they think a runway should be built in the South East after next year’s general election.