There has been speculation that the poor Government performance in the recent General Election puts the expansion of Heathrow at risk, but the deal wil the DUP would seem to make it more likely.
The speculation had been that difficult legislation, such as the bill required to approve a third runway at Heathrow, would be shelved given the parlous state of the Government position following the General Election, and while this is certainly the case, Heathrow would point out that a majority of MPs in the previous parliament were in support of expansion at the UK’s hub airport.
Now the deal with the DUP, whose manifesto professed support for Heathrow, makes the likelihood of expansion greater. Nigel Dodds MP, the Leader of DUP in Westminster said earlier in the year: “For us, regional connectivity is key, the air links between London and Belfast are vital to grow our economy. The prospect of 5,000 new jobs in Northern Ireland alone as a result of this proposal [Heathrow] is very welcome.”
Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission had identified that expansion at Heathrow would lead to 5000 new jobs in Northern Ireland, around four times the number which would have been produced by expansion at Gatwick.