- Heathrow welcomes Airports Commission’s clear recommendation for expansion and calls for Government to approve expansion, for all of Britain
- Heathrow expansion is supported by businesses, unions, communities, airports, airlines and politicians from every part of the UK
- Airports Commission finds Heathrow expansion will connect Britain to global growth, securing jobs and growth across the country
- Airports Commission confirms Heathrow can expand within environmental limits
LONDON, 3-7-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Welcoming the Airports Commission’s clear recommendation that “the best answer is to expand Heathrow’s runway capacity”, Heathrow will now work with Government to deliver expansion for all of Britain.
Heathrow’s new expansion plan addresses concerns raised by local communities and by politicians, with the Airports Commission recognising that “the benefits are significantly greater, for business passengers, freight operators and the broader economy” and that “all passengers will benefit from enhanced competition.”
The Commission’s final recommendation follows three years of extensive and robust consultation, evidence gathering and analysis. It recognises the unique role that Heathrow plays as Britain’s only hub airport. The Commission finds that Heathrow expansion is the only solution which can help British businesses compete for global growth, and support a truly national recovery built on exports, skills and investment.
The Commission also confirms that Heathrow’s new plan can be delivered while reducing its local and environmental impacts. It confirms that it can be delivered within carbon and air quality limits and with significantly fewer people impacted by aircraft noise than today.
The Commission has urged the Government to make an early decision on its recommendations, saying that “further delay will be increasingly costly and will be seen, nationally and internationally, as a sign that the UK is unwilling or unable to take the steps needed to maintain its position as a well-connected open trading economy in the twenty first century.”
Support for Heathrow’s new expansion plan has been growing, including:
- British business: The British Chambers of Commerce has today announced its backing for Heathrow expansion. More than 30 local Chambers of Commerce from every region and nation across the UK; 6 in 10 London First (59%)[i] and IoD members (61%); the Manufacturers’ Association, EEF; British International Freight Association; and the Freight Transport Association also back Heathrow.
- A majority of people across Heathrow’s local communities: More people support Heathrow expansion than oppose it in the ten local constituencies to the airport (Populus 2014)[ii]; local authorities including Spelthorne and Slough; over 100,000 supporters of the campaign group Back Heathrow.
- The aviation industry: international and domestic airlines, including easyJet; and, 5 UK airports in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle.
- Major trade unions: the GMB and Unite.
- MPs and authorities: Across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Heathrow expansion will connect all of Britain to growth markets around the world and enable the UK to overtake its European competitors in the race for jobs and growth. It will:
- Deliver up to £147billion economic benefit, almost double the benefit of Gatwick.
- Create 40 new long-haul connections to emerging growth markets around the world. Today, Heathrow has 82 long-haul connections, one of only six airports in the world that have regular flights to over 50 long haul destinations.
- Double freight capacity at Heathrow. Heathrow is currently Britain’s biggest port by value, supporting more exports than Felixstowe and Southampton combined.
- Be linked to 16 regional airports, up from 7 today, and within 3 hours of 70% of the country through improved road and rail links.
- Increase competition and choice for passengers. Over 30 airlines are already waiting to enter Heathrow or add new services once new capacity is provided.
- Reduce aircraft noise compared to today and be delivered within the Government’s carbon and air quality targets.
With expansion Heathrow can realise its vision of building the next generation of airport, one that is designed around not only the passenger but also the environment and the local community.
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport said:
“This debate has never been about a runway, it’s been about the future we want for Britain. Expanding Heathrow will keep Britain as one of the world’s great trading nations, right at the heart of the global economy.
Our new plans have been designed around the needs of local communities and will meet carbon, air quality and noise targets, and provides the greatest benefit to the UK’s connectivity and its long term economic growth.
We will create the world’s best connected, most efficient and most environmentally responsible hub airport at the heart of an integrated transport system.
The Commission has backed a positive and ambitious vision for Britain. We will now work with Government to deliver it.”
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[i] Full survey results can be found at http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Expansion-News-23/4544
[ii] Full survey result found at http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Expansion-News-23/4363#