The British Government has reaffirmed its commitment to build a new runway in South East England. Delivering a speech at the British Air Transport Association (BATA) annual dinner in London on January 27, the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, stated that the Government intends to back a new runway in the South East by 2030. Mr McLoughlin said the whole of the UK will benefit from the extra connections a new runway would provide, and that the current capacity constraint is costing “business and jobs.”
He added: “Nothing will change the fact that without action, London’s aviation network will be full by 2040 and noted that constrained capacity is “already costing us business and jobs.
“With every new air route to the Far East or South America, Paris, Frankfurt and Dubai are making themselves more attractive to investors.
“Of course I know that many in the industry were disappointed that we delayed the final decision [until the summer]. It wasn’t something we took lightly, but when opponents of expansion hailed the delay as some sort of victory, they could not have been more wrong. The decision was delayed because it was the right thing to do, the responsible thing to do. To make sure we’re fully prepared. So we know from the outset that we will get the job finished.
“We also need it for the benefits it will bring to the wider UK economy. One of the most persuasive arguments for new capacity is the links it will provide to the north, the South West, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“Opponents have tried to suggest that a new runway would somehow undermine our domestic network. In fact the reverse is true.
“Wherever we decide to build new runway capacity, you can be sure that local economies throughout the UK will benefit, with more flights, more routes, and more connections.”