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Volume 456: debated on Friday 2 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of when airport capacity would be reached if the rate of increase in flying continues at the present rate and airport capacity remained unchanged. (118191)

Pressure on airport capacity is greatest in the South East. Heathrow and Gatwick’s runways are already full for most of the day, and Stansted is close to capacity in peak hours. Outside the South East, there is greater scope for demand growth to be accommodated by existing capacity.

The Air Transport White Paper set out a measured and balanced approach to the development of UK air travel. Analysis for the White Paper showed that without additional runways, air passenger demand is likely to become constrained by capacity in the South East before 2010.