In a major boost for the UK economy, the Government today announced a new runway at Heathrow – the first full length runway in the South East since the Second World War. The scheme will now be taken forward for consultation.
The Government’s decision on its preferred location underlines our commitment to keep the UK open for business, now and in the future, as a hub for tourism and trade. It is a significant part of our plan to build a global, outward looking Britain, and an economy that works for everyone here at home.
A new runway at Heathrow will bring economic benefits worth up to £61 billion. Up to 77,000 additional local jobs are expected to be created over the next 14 years and the airport has committed to create 5,000 new apprenticeships over the same period.
South Lakes Conservative Leader Ben Berry welcomed the news saying that “it wont have been an easy decision but increased air capacity is vital to take the Country forward and vital for inbound tourism for our area.”
Why we need more airport capacity
Strong connections with global partners and the ability to trade with new and growing markets are vital to securing Britain’s place in the world.
Last year, UK airports handled over 250 million passengers – up 5.5 per cent on 2014 – and 2.3 million tonnes of freight. Heathrow is the busiest two-runway airport in the world and Gatwick the busiest single runway airport. The London system will be almost entirely full by 2030.
If we do nothing, the cost to our nation is significant, amounting to more than £20 billion through delays, fewer flights and passengers having to fly from airports elsewhere.
The Airports Commission made a clear and unanimous recommendation to the Government – that we should accept the proposal to build a new North West Runway at Heathrow, subject to a package of measures to make expansion more acceptable to the airport’s local community.
We believe that it offers the greatest level of benefit to passengers, business and to help us deliver the broadest possible benefit to the whole United Kingdom.
It delivers the greatest economic and strategic benefits to our economy, strengthens connectivity for passengers right across the UK, adding six extra domestic services, it offers a major boost to freight operators and it can be delivered within carbon and air quality limits. Crucially it also comes with world leading measures to limit the impacts on those living nearby.
How we will protect the environment
We have secured a world class package of mitigation, worth up to £2.6 billion, which covers insulation, compensation and respite from noise. This will comprehensively combat the impact of a new runway on local communities.
We are also committing to a six-and-a-half hour ban on scheduled night flights at Heathrow, making more stringent noise restrictions a requirement of expansion.
There will also be new legally binding noise targets, encouraging the use of quieter planes, and more reliable and predictable periods of respite for those living under the final flight path.