Dithering over Heathrow third runway could cost billions

In his first speech since the Airports Commission’s clear recommendation for Heathrow expansion, Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye has he views the debate on where a new runway should be built to be “firmly closed”. It contains the UK’s busiest bus and coach station and it’s the only airport served by London Underground stations.

“We’ll have to see how it fits into all the other things we’re doing, I’m not sure that the commission understood everything that we do today, but I’m sure there is a package in there that we can agree with our local communities, with the airlines and with Government”, he said.

The FTA says its own “Sky High Value” report on airport capacity in the south east, plus a report commissioned by the FTA and undertaken by York Aviation, both confirmed Heathrow as a vital hub for air cargo and underlined that a failure to invest in new runway capacity would result in United Kingdom exporters and importers losing competitive edge to continental competitors, with the real possibility of services transferring to airports on the continent. He warned that it was the type of issue the Government could spend years investigating before giving the Heathrow runway the greenlight.

Councillor Greg Stafford, Opposition Leader, said: “It will be shocking but not surprising to learn Labour now plans to break their 2014 and 2010 Manifesto pledge to campaign against expansion of Heathrow Airport“.

Heathrow faces the “mother of all challenges” to meet the conditions set out by the Airports Commission to build a third runway, says a campaign group.

Gatwick do not believe enough emphasis has been given to the 320,000 people “newly affected” by Heathrow expansion compared to 18,000 at Gatwick. Sir Howard said the commission rejected the runway extension scheme and had “unanimously” favoured building a third runway at Heathrow.

McGuinness added: “We are advised that the Treasury Solicitor’s response, on behalf of the Airports Commission, is inadequate and that we should be able to see this Judicial Review through to a successful conclusion”.

Mr Holland-Kaye also published plans to increase public transport use by more than 10 per cent over the next four years as it seeks to cut air pollution to ensure this is not a hurdle to expansion. What this means is that we’re losing out in the global connectivity race: Paris already offers 50% more flights to China than London, for example.

Lord Adonis, the former transport secretary, said on Monday that the noise envelope, which the commission said might stipulate that there should be “no overall increase above current levels”, was one of the “weaknesses” of Sir Howard’s report.

“With the world’s biggest cities planning 50 new runways by 2036, allowing for 1 billion new passenger journeys, we simply can’t afford any further political delay”.


p style=”text-align: center;”>MP Zac Goldsmith and council leader Kevin Davis have both come out against Heathrow expansion


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