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Ricky Burdett and ex-Olympic chief John Armitt named aviation commissioners

Ex-ODA chief John Armitt and urbanism expert Ricky Burdett have been named on a six-strong panel to examine aviation policy under Howard Davies

The Commission has been set up to ‘examine the scale and timing of any requirement for additional capacity to maintain the UK’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub’.

Armitt, the former chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), was also chief executive of Network Rail between 2002 and 2007.

In August, he called for ‘vision and guts’ in aviation policy, challenging the government to stop deliberating and make a decision on its options for capacity expansion in the South-east.

He is also currently deputy chairman of Berkeley Group and a non-executive director of Transport for London.

Ricky Burdett, who is currently professor of urban studies at the London School of Economics, was also involved in the London 2012 Games as the chief adviser on the Olympics’ urban and architectural legacy.

Geoff Muirhead will also sit on the panel. He previously lead the planning and delivery of Manchester Airport’s second runway, which is the only full-length runway built in the UK since the Second World War.

The Commission will consist of:

  • John Armitt, 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, director of the LSE Cities research centre.
  • Vivienne Cox, former chief executive of BP Alternative Energy.
  • Professor Dame Julia King, vice chancellor of Aston University, member of the Committee on Climate Change.
  • Geoff Muirhead, former chief executive of the Manchester Airport Group.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said aviation was ‘vital to the UK economy’ and stressed the need for a long term policy that ‘meets the challenges of the future’.

‘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”.

Airports Commission chairman Howard Davies said the team had ‘the range of skills and experience required to drive forward the important work the Commission is undertaking’.

‘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.

‘The experience of recent years shows we need a robust evidence base which has the support of a broad consensus of opinion. We aim to put the next government into a position in which rapid and implementable decisions can be soundly made.’

According to the terms of reference, the Commission will “identify and evaluate how any need for additional capacity should be met in the short, medium and long term”.

It aims to maintain a UK-wide perspective and take account of regional and local implications, reporting by the end of 2013 on recommendations to improve runway capacity in the next five years.

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