Nigel Huddleston MP has welcomed the Government’s approval of a third runway at Heathrow to expand UK airport capacity.
Last year, the independent Airports Commission delivered its final report under the chairmanship of Sir Howard Davies. It unanimously agreed that the proposed north-west runway at Heathrow presented the strongest case. Since the publication of that recommendation, the Department for Transport has studied in detail not only the report, but new and supplementary information that has emerged about the different options since.
Heathrow is the busiest two-runway airport in the world, and Gatwick the busiest single-runway airport. The London system will be almost entirely full by 2030. The expansion of Heathrow airport and the north-west runway scheme offers the greatest benefit to passengers and business, and will help deliver the broadest possible benefit to the whole United Kingdom.
The announcement came on the same day that Nigel asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison at Treasury Questions what the Government are minded to do about air passenger duty, in response to impending APD changes in Scotland.
The Scottish government’s long-promised 50% cut in Air Passenger Duty (APD) is estimated to mean an additional 18 million passengers using Scotland's airports by 2021 but this will cause competitive challenges to some English airports, such as Newcastle.
The Minister confirmed that the Government are reviewing the potential options to support regional airports.
“The expansion of Heathrow is a good decision for the whole of the UK and will result in more jobs, more trade, more tourists and a stronger UK economy overall. In light of the Brexit vote, Britain now more than ever needs to show that it is open for business and the growth of our hub airport will do this.
But it should not be the end of the conversation about airport capacity and expansion. The Airports Commission was clear that there would be demand for a second additional runway to be operational by 2050, by which time Heathrow will be operating near capacity again so expansion at Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham is also likely.
On Air Passenger Duty, there is a clear need to boost our regional airports and keep more money in the pockets of consumers. With Scotland announcing its own cut in APD, the Government must not reduce the competitiveness of England’s airports or leave English consumers worse off by keeping things as they are.”
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