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Published on : Tuesday, February 9, 2016
The boss of Britain’s hub airport declared that the Government decision in December paves the way for expansion at Heathrow as it is the only option that can deliver the Government’s commitment of sustainable economic growth and opportunity for all.
In a hard-hitting speech, his first since the Government’s response to the Airport’s Commission, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye set out the stark ‘choice’ on offer to the Prime Minister when considering airport capacity in the South East. He said:
“Do you choose the new Heathrow plan which delivers your vision; economic security for hardworking families, more exports to emerging markets to tackle the deficit, supporting the northern powerhouse. A new plan, designed to meet all your environmental targets and which has the support from the majority of local communities. The only plan that creates hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs, that has the support of every major employer’s group, as well as the unions. The only location which all the airlines agree is the right one and want to fly from. The only option that the Commission said was future proofed for any future scenario. The only promoter with a track record of delivering huge infrastructure projects on time and on budget, and which is seen as the most financially robust option by Moody’s. The only plan with a strong policy basis, following the unanimous and unequivocal support of the Airports’ Commission. The only plan which you know you can get through Parliament because it has the backing of the majority of MPs across all the major parties, as well as politicians in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A resilient plan, which puts the airport at the heart of the UK’s transport system, served by 5 motorways and 5 railway lines.
But of course as Prime Minister, you have a choice. You could choose the option that will not get us to emerging markets, which does nothing for the regions of the UK, or for exports, that delivers a fraction of the jobs or the economic benefits, is less financially robust, does not have the support of business or unions, nor the local community, nor the airlines, nor politicians, nor the policy basis of the Airports Commission. That offers local people no respite from noise. That has only one motorway and one railway line.
Which do you say “yes” to? You know the answer, and I am sure he does. You say “yes” to Heathrow – obviously.”
He said that the Prime Minister can back Heathrow…
…because it’s the best option
…because it’s the only deliverable option
…because it’s overwhelmingly supported
Mr Holland-Kaye confirmed that there are no policy obstacles in the way of a swift Government decision:
“You may hear that air quality is a problem. Not so. Heathrow today meets all EU air quality standards and with expansion, we will still meet them – in fact we won’t release new capacity until we can demonstrate that is the case. What you may not have heard is that we are the environmental leader in our sector – we have reduced emissions by 16% over 5 years and are the only airport in the world to have signed the Paris Pledge on climate change. On the environment, we can deliver.”