Welcoming the Airports Commission’s clear recommendation that “the best answer is to expand Heathrow’s runway capacity”, Heathrow Airort say they will now work with Government to deliver expansion for all of Britain.
Heathrow say their 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 consultation. The Airport believes it recognises the unique role that Heathrow plays as Britain’s only hub airport.
The Airport says that the Commission also confirms that Heathrow’s new plan can be delivered while reducing its local and environmental impacts, and that 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.”
The airport points to substantial support for their proposals, from The British Chambers of Commerce; 6 in 10 London First and IoD members; the Manufacturers’ Association, EEF; British International Freight Association; and the Freight Transport Association also back Heathrow.
The Airport believes it has local support too – more people support Heathrow expansion than oppose it in the ten local constituencies to the airport acording to a Populus study in 2014. Some local councils have been supportive, including Spelthorne and Slough; and over 100,000 supporters of the campaign group Back Heathrow.
Heathrow say their expansion will deliver up to £147billion economic benefit, almost double the benefit of Gatwick, create 40 new long-haul connections to emerging growth markets, double freight capacity at Heathrow, and double domestic connections.
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.”