Responding to the publication of the Transport Select Committee report on the Airports National Policy Statement, Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, the industry association that represents UK-registered carriers, said:
“Airlines are pleased that the Committee has signalled its support for additional capacity at Heathrow. This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the UK’s domestic and international connectivity, which will be more important than ever as we prepare to leave the EU.
“That said, the Committee has called for a number of changes to strengthen the National Policy Statement to ensure Heathrow expansion can be delivered, whilst keeping costs down and passenger charges at current levels. The Transport Secretary has said previously that consumers – not Heathrow shareholders – must stand to gain from expansion and that charges should remain at least at current levels – a position the Committee has endorsed.
“The Government should now follow through on its advice and bulk up the wholly inadequate section on cost in the NPS – and set out how it will use the DCO planning process to assess – independently – the scheme’s affordability. It will be at this stage that airlines – together with the CAA – can judge for themselves the likelihood of Heathrow being able to deliver on its promises to keep charges down, and until then they will reserve the right to withdraw support if this is not achievable.”