Thank you for contacting me about the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
The Government’s decision to support a new runway at Heathrow in the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) will deliver a boost of up to £74 billion to the economy and ensure the UK maintains its position as a global leader in aviation.
This will be the first full-length runway in the south-east since the Second World War, which sends a clear message that this country is open for business. Forecasts show that by the mid-2030s all five of the London’s major airports will be at full capacity. Expanding Heathrow will not only improve connectivity in the UK itself, but will also better connect the UK to long haul destinations in growing world markets, boosting trade and creating jobs. I welcome the fact that Heathrow will be privately funded and that the costs will not be met by the taxpayer. It is also important to remember that expansion would create tens of thousands of local jobs.
The NPS has taken into account public and industry feedback. I welcome the action taken by the Government to ensure local communities and the environment are protected. The NPS includes a legally enforceable ban on scheduled night flights for 6.5 hours, at least an hour longer than the current ban in operation. It is also positive news that the NPS includes a world class package of up to £2.6 billion of compensation and mitigation measures to help those most affected by expansion. I want to assure you that development consent will only be granted if the Government is satisfied that UK air quality obligations are not breached. Ministers have also assured me that expansion can be delivered within the UK’s climate change obligations.
Due to my being in Strasbourg as a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, I was unable to take part in the vote on Heathrow, but I look forward to the next stages of this important project.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP