Responding to the publication of the Government’s National Policy Statement, the UK and global airline community has published a joint statement expressing support for expansion at Heathrow Airport. Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK; Dale Keller, Chief Executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK; and Rafael Schvartzman, Regional Vice President Europe, IATA, representing a large majority of UK and international airlines operating in the UK, said:
“Heathrow expansion is a once in a generation opportunity to transform our domestic and international connectivity, which is why the airline community has been consistent in its support for a new runway. We hope that decades of delay and procrastination will soon come to an end and we can secure cross-party support in the House of Commons. It is time for politics to be taken out of this debate and a decision taken in the national interest.
“UK and international airlines will continue to hold Heathrow Airport Ltd to account over the details of the scheme, in particular its cost and affordability. It is passengers, airport users, and UK competitiveness who must stand to gain – not just Heathrow shareholders – and we’re pleased that the Transport Secretary has made the ambition of expanding the airport whilst keeping passenger charges at today’s levels his number one priority. The CAA must enforce this rigorously to protect customers. Airlines are committed to working constructively with Heathrow and the CAA and we will continue to push for more clarity from Government as to how it will use the planning process to provide more clarity on cost.
“The time is now for the UK to invest in the necessary infrastructure that will enable the global airline community to deliver upon the national economic objectives and aspirations.”