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Media release

Airports Commission recommends Heathrow expansion

Posted on in Airports commission

Welcoming the Airports Commission’s clear recommendation that “the best answer is to expand Heathrow’s runway capacity”, Heathrow will now work with the Government to deliver expansion for all of Britain.

Heathrow’s new expansion plan addresses concerns raised by local communities and by politicians.

The Commission’s final recommendation follows three years of extensive consultation, evidence gathering and analysis. It recognises the unique role that Heathrow plays as Britain’s only hub airport. The Commission finds that Heathrow expansion is the only solution which can help British businesses compete for global growth, and support a truly national recovery built on exports, skills and investment.

According to the final report, an expanded Heathrow will create up to £211bn of economic benefits across the UK and 180,000 new UK-wide jobs. Significantly, the report ends a 2.5 year, £20 million extensive process, that looked at over 50 schemes, to determine the best option on how to keep the UK a competitive hub for aviation.

The Commission also confirms that Heathrow’s new plan can be delivered while reducing its local and environmental impacts. It confirms that it can be delivered within carbon and air quality limits and with significantly fewer people impacted by aircraft noise than today.

Statement from Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye:

“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.” – Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye

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.”

Support for Heathrow expansion continues to grow

Over the last three years we’ve seen support for Heathrow’s new expansion plan grow and grow, as people around the country have realised its importance to the UK.

This growing support includes:

  • British business: More than 30 local Chambers of Commerce from every region and nation across the UK; 6 in 10 London First (59%) and IoD members (61%); the Manufacturers’ Association, EEF; British International Freight Association; the Freight Transport Association.
  • A majority of people across Heathrow’s local communities: Over 50% of people in a sample poll in ten local constituencies to the airport support expansion (Populus 2014); local authorities including Spelthorne and Slough; over 100,000 supporters of the campaign group Back Heathrow.
  • The aviation industry: international and domestic airlines, including easyJet; and, 5 UK airports in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle.
  • Major trade unions: the GMB and Unite.
  • MPs and authorities: Across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Headline benefits of Heathrow expansion

  • Up to £211bn economic benefits and 180,000 new jobs;
  • Creation of up to 40 new long-haul connections to emerging growth markets;
  • Double the freight capacity;
  • Links to 16 regional airports, up from 7 today;
  • Increased competition and choice for passengers;
  • At least 200,000 fewer people affected by significant noise.

NOTE: Sources for all the Heathrow expansion benefits figures can be found, here.