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Published on : Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The decision has been welcomed by hospitality associations. A website quoted Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) as saying, “We welcome the Government’s decision on airport expansion at Heathrow. The challenge from other European hubairports vying to replace Heathrow is serious, especially once the United Kingdom has left the European Union.
“This decision demonstrates that the UK is open to visitors and investment from across the globe, and will also allow space for domestic air links to support regional tourism right across the country.”
The new runway will open in 2025, and welcome up to 260,000 more flights a year, up from the current 480,000 for a total of 740,000 annually.
Operators have also expressed their delight on the decision.
Inderneel Singh, managing director at Edwardian Hotels London, said, “We have supported the expansion of Heathrow airport for a long time. For us, it is vital that the UK continues to increase its attractiveness as a destination for tourist and international business visitors. For our hospitality business, this is crucial. We want to see more guests visiting us from Asia and North America in the very near future. Heathrow was always the obvious choice for expansion, not only because millions of visitors to Britain already fly there and it has strong relationships with key airlines, but also because of the excellent transport links and existing infrastructure provisions…The UK will benefit significantly from this decision. It is even more important today, post Brexit, that the country competes with other major European and global cities when it comes to aviation opportunities.”
However, there are several hurdles to be cleared before the runway gets a clear nod legally and with several groups, including the councils of Richmond, Wandworth, Hillingdon and Windsor and Maidenhead standing in the way legally contesting against the decision, it will be a tough walk before the runway finally takes off.