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Ready for take-off! Heathrow expansion approved

25 October 2016

The Government has now approved a third runway at Heathrow Airport to expand UK airport capacity. Have they made the correct decision?

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Commenting on the Heathrow expansion, Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:

“Giving the green light to Heathrow expansion is the right one for industry and the country. Heathrow will be a key linchpin in enabling post-Brexit trade and this decision provides reassurance to manufacturers that access to direct, efficient and cost-effective trade routes to the rest of the world will be backed by action and not just words.

“While the debate on extra airport capacity has understandably been finely focused on a decision to allow expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick, the important role aviation plays more generally in supporting Britain’s global trade status has been side-lined. This crucial role should not be overlooked. As local areas across the country gear up to take on more powers as part of devolution, improving surface access to regional airports should be an early priority to maximise the regional connectivity benefits from today’s decision.”

In EEF’s most recent survey of manufacturers, 78 percent of companies expressed a preference for expansion at Heathrow.

Interim Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Lord Adonis, response to the government's support for a third runway at Heathrow:

“This decision is a long overdue step in the right direction. It has been clear for decades that the UK needs additional airport capacity in the South East to remain open and competitive on the world stage, yet for far too long political indecision has prevented this.

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“Meanwhile our competitors have surged ahead. In the time the UK has been considering a third runway all of our major European competitors have delivered increased capacity and are today benefiting from the new routes to emerging markets that come with it.

“If the UK is to deliver world leading infrastructure this culture of dither and delay must come to an end. We must replace years of political deadlock with clear eyed analysis, long-term planning and strategic decision making.

“This decision rightly follows the evidence, and Sir Howard Davies’ expert advice – now it must be taken forward as quickly as possible.”

On the other hand, Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, believes the third runway is ‘undeliverable’. According to a report from The Telegraph, Mr Johnson said the new runway would create a “hell” of aircraft noise above London. He said “no other great city would do this to its inhabitants. New York is going to be the city of beautiful skyscrapers, Paris the city of lights and London in the future, if we go ahead with this project, will be known as the city of planes”. He fully believes that the expansions plans will be stopped. 

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