NEWS Last modified on July 22, 2015

Lets get on with it and expand Heathrow – airport boss

The Airports Commission's verdict maybe in but the publicity machines roll on in terms of winning hearts and minds, Heathrow today revealing that three of the UK's most influential figures in business, politics and the trade union support its expansion.

Speaking at an event in central London attended by over one hundred Heathrow supporters, Paul Drechsler, president of the CBI, Paul Nowak, sssistant general secretary of the TUC and the Rt Hon Graham Brady MP and chair of the Conservative 1922 Committee declared their support for Heathrow expansion.

The three stood together to call on the Prime Minister to implement the Airport Commission’s recommendation to expand Heathrow to help British businesses compete for global growth, create 180,000 jobs and support a truly national recovery built on exports, skills and investment.

Addressing the audience, Nowak, said: “Expansion at Heathrow will help generate much needed jobs that are vital to the local community and support wider economic growth.

"The TUC believes that unions and their members can play a vital role in ensuring expansion is delivered on time and on budget.

"We also want to work with government, airlines and the airport to ensure that the project delivers long-term benefits for sustainable UK jobs, skills and growth.”
LHR aerial

Drechsler noted: “In today’s global world, making the right connections is more important than ever. The Airports Commission has given a clear recommendation – a third runway at Heathrow would deliver the greatest economic benefits of the options on the table.

"Spare runway capacity isn’t an optional extra, it’s an economic necessity that will help rebalance our economy towards trade and investment. But the clock is ticking - each day we fail to boost our connectivity, the UK misses out on trade growth.

"Over the period it could take for a new runway to be built, the UK will lose up to £31 billion in trade from limited growth in flights to the BRICs alone, so it’s essential we see a decision from the Prime Minister this side of Christmas.”

And Brady remarked: “This government is pro-business, pro-growth and serious about making the right strategic decisions for the benefit of whole of the UK. Following the publication of the Davies commission report, the government should announce an early decision to ensure that Britain has a successful hub airport into the future.”

David Cameron set up the Commission in 2012 to find the best way to maintain the UK’s status as an aviation hub.
During the consultation process Heathrow developed a fundamentally different proposal than that which was rejected in 2010, reducing noise for local residents and meeting air quality and climate targets, whilst providing regular, direct flights to all the growing markets of the world to deliver £211bn in economic benefit.

As a result, the expert panel returned an unequivocal recommendation that Heathrow should be allowed to expand, concluding that the benefits would be “significantly greater for business passengers, freight operators and the broader economy” than any other option.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kay said: “The Prime Minister showed leadership in establishing an independent Airports Commission and we have delivered a new plan that is supported across the spectrum of British life - from local people, to British business, from trade unions to politicians, from Newquay to Inverness.

"If the government is serious about exports, jobs, and rebalancing the economy, it must make the choice that Britain is calling for – and expand Heathrow. We are ready, let’s get on with it.” 

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