The Airports Commission, The Dilemmas of Political Leadership and the Third Runway at Heathrow Airport
This article assesses the character, role and outcomes of the Airports Commission. Analysing its workings from September 2012, it evaluates the final recommendations and then charts the subsequent public reception. The article claims that the Airports Commission’s endeavours to depoliticise aviation by using ‘reasonable’ methods and impartial judgements - often embodied in Howard Davies himself - has been met with local resistance and political opposition, focussed on the proposal to expand either Heathrow or Gatwick. It exposes how the recourse to expert commissions offers only temporary respite for government responsibility and accountability in the making of hard decisions. It concludes that the inability to secure a binding and acceptable agreement does not just reside at the door of the Airports Commission, but the failures of political leadership and the ‘missed opportunity’ to articulate a sustainable vision for aviation after the 2010 moratorium on airport expansion in the south-east of England.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Open access article.
Citation : Griggs, S. and Howarth, D. (2018) The Airports Commission, the Dilemmas of Political Leadership and the Third Runway at Heathrow Airport. Political Quarterly, 89 (3), pp. 434-445
ISSN : 0032-3179
Research Group : Local Governance Research Centre (LGRC)
Peer Reviewed : Yes