Heathrow hurrah

Heathrow hurrah

Transport secretary Chris Grayling confirmed government support for a third runway at Heathrow last month, saying the decision had been made “in the national interest”.

The expansion will only go ahead if the proposal meets obligations on air quality and compensation for locals, who are likely to receive £2.6 billion. It would almost double the airport’s freight capacity and add 260,000 more flights a year. The new runway is expected to be completed by 2026 and Grayling insisted the expansion would be 100 per cent privately funded. He also confirmed that 15 per cent of the new slots generated by the third runway would be reserved to increase domestic connectivity and he expected there to be a sixand- a-half hour ban on night flights. Before the expansion can go ahead, the plans must be approved by the full cabinet, and MPs have not yet voted at the time of writing.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, said: “ABTA welcomes the government’s announcement of the airports national policy statement and urges MPs to support expansion when they vote in Parliament in the coming weeks. While ABTA recognises that expansion must be delivered in a sustainable manner, constraints on airport capacity in the South East, in particular Heathrow, severely inhibit the UK’s ability to grow. In 2017, 78 million passengers passed through Heathrow, 67 per cent on leisure trips and the rest on business. It is currently operating at almost 100 per cent capacity.” ABTAmag.com

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