In D. Helm and D. Holt (eds.), 'Air Transport and Infrastructure: The Challenges Ahead', published November 2003 by Oxera, pp. 1-4. In committing itself to providing a 30-year framework for air transport policy, the government recognised that the existing approach of ad hoc interventions, delayed decisions and the consequent congestion could not be allowed to continue indefinitely. A ten-year transport strategy had
been set out for the railways (DETR, 2000); a new energy policy was eventually produced at the end of a lengthy consultation period (DTI, 2003); and a longer-term framework for water published too (Defra, 2002).
The government recognised that markets and competition, though important, would not be sufficient for the development of core