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The Airports Commission, the Dilemmas of Political Leadership and the Third Runway at Heathrow Airport

Griggs, Steven and Howarth, David (2018) 'The Airports Commission, the Dilemmas of Political Leadership and the Third Runway at Heathrow Airport.' Political Quarterly, 89 (3). 434 - 445. ISSN 0032-3179

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Abstract

This article assesses the character, role and outcomes of the Airports Commission. Analysing its workings from September 2012, it evaluates the final recommendations and then charts the subsequent public reception. The article claims that the Airports Commission’s endeavours to depoliticise aviation by using ‘reasonable’ methods and impartial judgements - often embodied in Howard Davies himself - has been met with local resistance and political opposition, focussed on the proposal to expand either Heathrow or Gatwick. It exposes how the recourse to expert commissions offers only temporary respite for government responsibility and accountability in the making of hard decisions. It concludes that the inability to secure a binding and acceptable agreement does not just reside at the door of the Airports Commission, but the failures of political leadership and the ‘missed opportunity’ to articulate a sustainable vision for aviation after the 2010 moratorium on airport expansion in the south-east of England.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: wicked policy problem, depoliticisation, Heathrow airport, Airports Commission, Davies Commission
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2018 09:32
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2019 01:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21888

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