Government aviation commission's panel members revealed

The former chairman of the body responsible for developing the venues and infrastructure for the 2012 Olympic Games has been announced as one of six members of the government-appointed commission into UK aviation capacity.

Sir John Armitt. Picture from Bisgovuk on Flickr
Sir John Armitt. Picture from Bisgovuk on Flickr

In September, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin revealed that Sir Howard Davies would chair a commission to consider expanding Britain's airport capacity.

Today, he announced the five academics and aviation specialists who will make up rest of the six-person panel to assist Sir Howard.

The commissioners are: 

  • Sir John Armitt, the former chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority and former chief executive of Network Rail. 
  • Professor Ricky Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and director of the LSE Cities research centre.
  • Vivienne Cox, the former chief executive and executive vice president of BP Alternative Energy and a former member of the BP Executive Management Team. 
  • Professor Dame Julia King, vice chancellor of Aston University and a member of the Committee on Climate Change, with a background in the aerospace industry.
  • Geoff Muirhead, the former chief executive of the Manchester Airport Group.

The Department for Transport also revealed the scope of the commission’s work. It has been asked to "maintain a UK-wide perspective, taking appropriate account of the national, regional and local implications of any proposals".

A provisional report, including recommendations on "immediate actions to improve the use of existing runway capacity in the next five years", would be made by the end of 2013, with a final report no later than the summer of 2015.

Davies said: "With open minds, we will take time to explore the evidence, consider the options and aim to develop a lasting solution to the nation’s aviation needs.

"Our ambition is to do a thorough piece of work that will ensure aviation continues to support this country’s economic, social and environmental ambitions.

"We aim to put the next government into a position in which rapid and implementable decisions can be soundly made."

McLoughlin added: "Sir Howard and his team will now take forward this vitally important work for the Government and bring a much-needed fresh perspective to the debate."

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