Summary of the Halcrow Report Part 3 “The Future Capacity of Business Aviation”


Here are the relevant extracts from the Halcrow Report, which was published in final draft in May 2002.  It was a supportive document to the SERAS report and focussed on the role of airfields and business aviation ouside of the main passenger airports.


The overall report on "Business Aviation in the South East" gives very strong arguements in favour of protecting the larger airfields in the region from housing and other such developments, as they could well be required to meet the increased demand for GA and Business Aviation facilities expected to arise over the next 10 - 20 years. It states that there will be an expected shortfall in capacity within the next 10 years of several 10's of thousands of movements, due to real growth and also GA and Business Aviation being squeezed out of the major airports.  It also states that existing Business Aviation airports such as Farnborough, Biggin Hill, Fairoaks and others will not be able to absorb this increased capacity alone, and that other airfields (even possibly some disused airfields) in the region must also participate to a far greater extent. 


Part 3 of the report relating to "The Future Capacity for Business Aviation" closely examines all the airfields in the South East, including some disused airfields, dividing them into 3 regions: North - from Elstree to South End, South - Biggin Hill, Rochester and others and West - incl. Farnborough, Fairoaks White Waltham. In particular the report singles out North Weald Airfield as being the best suited to be able to accommodate a significant proportion of the growth, not only for the North East of London but possibly for the South East as a whole.  Here are the relevant sections:


"The aerodrome is owned by the local authority, which has policies to promote its development as a working airfield and a centre of leisure and related acitvity.  The setting is essentially rural, with only two developed areas nearby, North Weald Bassett and the more distant Epping, neither of which are in line with the main runway.  That runway is one of the longest in the region (outside the major airports) with a paved length of 1935m.


North Weald's location and this long, paved runway make it the strongest candidate of all the North sector aerodromes for development of Business Aviation capacity.  If use of the aerodrome by Business Aviation of all types could be resolved with its relationship to Stansted and other air traffic, North Weald would be capable of providing the majority of the additional capacity needed if Business Aviation demand in the North sector was to be met beyond 2000."


In the summary of the examination into the North Sector aerodromes which also include Southend, Elstree, Panshangar and Stapleford among others, the report continues...


"North Weald Aerodrome, thanks to its location and long runway, offers the greatest potential for capacity development in the North sector.  With investment in its navigational aids, and appropriate airspace management methods, this aerodrome might reasonably be expected, in the medium to long term, to provide very substantial Business Aviation capacity..... any case, North Weald's location and other attributes make it likely to attract a high proportion of investment attention. If demand growth is above the medium range, or if access to Stansted reduces more rapidly, incentives for the capacity develpment at North Weald or other North sector aerodromes will be felt sooner and more forcefully."


In section 8 of the report "Conclusions", the report states:


"..In the North, if medium-range demand was to be met, additional Business Aviation capacity would have to be coming into use now....From this point, steadily increasing demand and falling capacity at Stansted would indicate the need for investment in one site with the potential to handle the majority of long-term growth. The most likely candidate in this respect would be North Weald. With adequate investment, and assuming environmental acceptability, that site has the potential to meet medium range demand for the  foreseeable future."


In the closing section 8.7 Future Airports Policy it reads:


"In a heavily contrained scenario, with little capacity for Business Aviation at the larger airports, dedicate Business Aviation facilities, optimally located in relation to their market and in respect of the management of airspace, will be required.  The airfields best able to make a contribution are:

This assessment of the requirements for GA and Business Aviation capacity in the South East is integral to the SERAS process.  Those packages of airport development appraised in SERAS which have less capacity at the major airports will require a greater contribution from the smaller airports if the needs of thinner commercial routes serving niche markets, GA and Business Aviation are to be met.  The conclusions of this study relating to the provision of Business Aviation capacity at the identified airports will need to be placed in the broader context of the favoured packages in later stages of SERAS."