Heathrow's third runway will mean 'more domestic airport links'

Heathrow's third runway will mean 'more domestic airport links'

More UK airports will be served by Heathrow if proposals for a third runway are approved, the Department of Transport is due to promise.

Six airports - Belfast, Liverpool, Newquay, Humberside, Prestwick and Durham Tees Valley - could be added to Heathrow's network by 2030.

Currently, eight UK airports have links with Heathrow but ministers want to expand domestic connections.

Details about a proposed expansion of Heathrow are due out later.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is to launch a 16-week consultation and set out planning and infrastructure proposals, and future links with regional airports.


Last October, after years of delay, the government said building a third runway at Heathrow was its preferred option for expanding airport capacity.

The government will make a final decision after the public consultation.

However, the government says Heathrow's expansion is vital for economy and will create about 70,000 jobs.

An additional 260,000 take-offs or landings would be permitted each year from the expanded airport, on top of the current cap of 480,000.

Heathrow's third runway will mean 'more domestic airport links'

"By backing the north-west runway at Heathrow airport and publishing our proposals, we are sending a clear signal that when we leave the EU, we are open for business," Mr Grayling will say, according to advance extracts of his speech.

With the government about to set out its strategy for withdrawal from the EU in a White Paper, Mr Grayling will say that a third runway at Heathrow will enhance the UK's global links.

"Leaving the EU is a new chapter for Britain and provides us with a great opportunity to forge a new role in the world.

"We are determined to seize that opportunity and having the right infrastructure in place will allow us to build a more global Britain."

The 16-week public consultation will be scrutinised by the Commons Transport Select Committee, and there will be information events held near Heathrow and across the UK.

However, there is expected to be continued opposition to Heathrow's expansion. Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, Sarah Olney, accused the government of being "so desperate" to reassure businesses about its Brexit plans that it is "willing to steamroller over those communities opposed to Heathrow expansion".

And John Stewart, chairman of anti-Heathrow expansion group Hacan, said it was important that the government assessed the consultation "in an even-handed way" and rejected the plan if the expected impact on issues such as noise was found to be "too great".

The runway, if approved, is not expected to be operational until around 2025.



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