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Government backs Heathrow expansion

by Natalie Vincent Tue 5 June 2018, 1:57 pm

Cabinet ministers have backed the expansion of Heathrow airport, through adding a third runway.

The government published the proposed Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) today, which will see the Heathrow expansion privately financed with no cost to taxpayers. It will be overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure the scheme remains affordable while meeting passenger needs.

Heathrow is the UK's biggest airport for passengers and freight, with the proposed north-west runway potentially doubling the airport's capacity for goods, allowing businesses across the country to increase their exports. The new runway will also provide benefits of up to £74 billion for passengers and the wider economy and create tens of thousands of local jobs, connecting the UK to the rest of world with an extra 16 million long-haul seats available by 2040.

The government has set aside £2.6 billion compensation for residents who are affected by the scheme, including noise-proofing.

Speaking to parliament, transport secretary Chris Grayling said: "Expansion at Heathrow presents a unique opportunity to deliver a multi-billion pound boost to our economy, strengthen our global links and maintain our position as a world leader in aviation.

"As we leave the EU, the UK must remain one of the world’s best-connected and outward-looking countries and a third runway at Heathrow is the best option to deliver this."

MPs will be voting on the expansion in the coming weeks.  Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye said: "Together with our supporters across the country, we urge all MPs to vote for expansion. Their votes will connect all of Britain to global trade, increase competition and choice for passengers and create tens of thousands of new skilled jobs for future generations. The world is waiting for Britain. It's time to vote for Heathrow expansion."

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