See more about the Mayor's views in this area on the London's airports page.

Heathrow expansion

Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) plans to take forward its expansion plans through a Development Consent Order (DCO) application. However, its plans are currently on hold.

HAL launched a first non-statutory consultation in January 2018. This consultation outlined HAL's emerging plans for building and operating a new northwest runway.

In January 2019, HAL launched another non-statutory consultation, 'Airspace and Future Operations', about both to its DCO application and its associated airspace change process.

On 18 June 2019, HAL published its statutory DCO consultation, which was required to set out its detailed plans and assessment and mitigation of the impacts. Responses were submitted on behalf of the Mayor to all three consultations.

National Policy Statement on Heathrow expansion

The Department for Transport (DfT) held a consultation from 2 February to 25 May 2017 on the National Policy Statement (NPS) for additional airport capacity in the South East and what requirements need to be met for Heathrow to expand. The Mayor of London made a detailed submission to this consultation.

The DfT held a supplementary consultation between 24 October and 19 December 2017 after the NPS was revised in light of updated Passenger Demand Forecasts and the publication of the national Air Quality Plan. The Mayor made a further detailed submission to this consultation.

The Secretary of State for Transport laid the final NPS before Parliament on 5 June 2018. Alongside the final NPS, the Government also published its response to the Transport Select Committee (TSC) report on the NPS and the two public consultations.

Our review of the final NPS indicates that the Government has largely ignored the comprehensive recommendations of the Transport Select Committee. Whether or not one accepts the case for Heathrow expansion, the result is that the final NPS is simply not fit for purpose.

In January 2018, shortly after our submission to the consultation on the revised NPS, we published a paper summarising the results of our surface access analysis to date. 

Submissions to the Transport Select Committee

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee launched a call for evidence between 22 February and 24 March 2017 into the NPS for expansion at Heathrow. This was followed by a further call for evidence between 1 November and 30 November 2017. Responses were submitted by the Mayor of London and the Deputy Mayor for Transport respectively.

A further response was submitted from the Deputy Mayor to clarify points raised by the DfT and Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) during the Transport Select Committee hearings held in February 2018.

London City Airport expansion

In June 2019, London City Airport published a consultation on a draft Master Plan for its growth for the period 2020-2035. Additional background material was published in August 2019. The Mayor submitted a response to this consultation.

In June 2022, London City Airport consulted on 

  • Increasing the cap on its annual passenger limit
  • Increasing weekday early morning flights
  • Introducing flights on Saturday afternoons and evenings (when none currently operate)

The Mayor submitted a response to this consultation.

London City Airport has also been engaging with select stakeholders on its airspace modernisation process, with a view to amending its flight paths. Submissions have been made on behalf of the Mayor to previous stages of the process.

Gatwick expansion

Gatwick Airport is taking forward proposals to increase capacity. This entails bringing its existing Northern standby runway into regular use for short-haul departures. 

The Mayor responded to the main consultation in December 2021.

Gatwick Airport is expected to submit a DCO application in the first half of 2023.

Luton expansion

Luton Airport is taking forward proposals to increase capacity. This entails expanding the existing terminal and then constructing a new terminal.

A response to the main consultation was provided, on behalf of the Mayor, in April 2022.

Luton Airport is expected to submit a DCO application in the first half of 2023.

UK aviation strategy

The DfT is developing a new aviation strategy for the UK which will set the long-term vision for the sector. This consultation process was launched with an initial call for evidence in July 2017.

In April 2018, an update and next steps report was published by the DfT.

In December 2018, the DfT published an updated draft aviation strategy consultation, 'Aviation 2050 - the future of UK aviation'. The Mayor responded to both consultations.

In July 2021, the DfT published a consultation on a strategy for net zero aviation carbon emissions ('Jet Zero'). The Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy responded to this consultation.

UK airspace and noise policy

The DfT held a consultation on UK airspace policy in 2017 which included proposals to modernise airspace. The Deputy Mayor for Transport submitted a response to this consultation.

The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN), an advisory non-departmental body sponsored by the DfT, held an initial consultation on its strategy. Transport for London responded to this consultation on behalf of the Mayor.

Economic regulation of Heathrow

The CAA has held a number of consultations on the economic regulation of Heathrow, to determine the appropriate regulatory framework for the expansion of Heathrow. The first, held at the start of 2017, identified the key principles and timetable.

The second, in the summer 2017, explored the core elements. The third, held at the end of 2017, was a policy update. Further consultations were held in April 2018, October 2018 and July 2019.

We submitted responses to the first, second, fourth and fifth consultations.

Night flights

In January 2017, the Government held a consultation on night flights which outlined the night flight rules for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted for a period of 5 years to 2022. In February 2021, the Government held a further consultation for the period 2022-2024 and beyond.

The Mayor/TfL submitted a response to each consultation.

Other consultations

In January 2021, the Government launched a consultation on the UK implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). TfL submitted a response to the consultation on behalf of the Mayor.

In June 2021, the Government published a consultation on changes to taxes on aviation, namely Air Passenger Duty (APD). TfL submitted a response to the consultation on behalf of the Mayor.

Environmental Audit Committee on Heathrow expansion

The Environmental Audit Committee held an inquiry into the implications of an expanded Heathrow. The Deputy Mayor for Transport submitted evidence to this inquiry. 

You can also see older documents related to London aviation policy under the previous Mayor. Most of these cover the debate over airport capacity.