Could RAF Croughton replace Heathrow?

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A move to potentially create a replacement for Heathrow Airport at RAF Croughton has left people in the Advertiser and Review region dumbfounded.

The proposal by the Progressive Aviation Group (PAG) comes as Sir Howard Davies leads a Department of Transport commission examining the future of the country’s international airport hubs.

The commission published dozens of suggestions for the future of UK airports earlier this month, some arguing extra capacity was not needed, some that growth should be unrestrained.

South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom said this week that she was informed about the Croughton proposal in January and appealed to PAG not to add to the misery of her constituents living under the shadow of HS2.

She said: “This rumour came to my attention some time ago and raised concerns about the implications for my constituents of another large infrastructure project in South Northamptonshire.

“I will be taking close interest in the debate about the future for Britain’s airports, but as things stand I don’t believe Croughton is a plausible solution.”

PAG believes a four-runway London Gateway Airport at Croughton would be far enough away from major conurbations, has the potential for good road links and could be linked with the plans for high speed rail through the region. With a ten-mile long, two-mile wide glide path either side of the runways, the plans could affect all parts of the Advertiser and Review region. Buckingham reader Robin Heaven contacted the Advertiser after calculating commercial airliners could pass over his home at 2,000ft.

He said: “Some group has done a lot of work on it, it’s not five minutes on the back of cigarette packet. It’s a serious proposal, but it could come to nothing. There’s quite a lot of proposals, like Boris Island. They are all in the mix and the Airport Commission is there to sort it out.”

PAG does recognise major hurdles in the proposal, not least the United States Air Force, which currently occupies the former RAF airfield, rerouting of the A43 and expansion of the M40.

Submissions published by the commission also included an anonymous two-page, four-paragraph suggestion that Twyford in north Bucks should be the location of the new airport.

The Airports Commission is set to publish its views on the proposals in its interim report at the end of 2013.

Visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/airports-commission to view the submissions being considered. The deadline for comments on the proposals is Friday, September 27.