Heathrow urges new Transport Minister to make the right choice on airport expansion
15 July 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review
Heathrow Airport has asked the new Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling to ‘listen to the Conservative grassroots and choose Heathrow’.
Heathrow Airport has released new ComRes polling today suggesting Conservative Councillors from across the country believe that the new Government should make a decision on aviation capacity in the South East as soon as possible, and that building a third runway at the airport should take priority over other major infrastructure projects including a second runway at Gatwick, HS2 and Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
The latest announcement follows a YouGov poll which revealed 74 percent of Conservative Party members now support a third runway at the airport.
“This poll gives our new Prime Minister and Transport Secretary more confidence to back Heathrow knowing that grassroots Conservatives are behind them”
Commenting on the poll of 313 Conservative Councillors, Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said: “This poll gives our new Prime Minister and Transport Secretary more confidence to back Heathrow knowing that grassroots Conservatives are behind them. A groundswell of Conservative Councillors, members and MPs from across the UK agree that a global, outward looking trading nation like ours needs Heathrow expansion now more than ever. Heathrow is the UK’s largest port, sustains global trade routes for British exporters and our ability to access new markets relies on expansion.
“I am confident the Prime Minister and Transport Secretary will listen to the voices of our supporters, see the very clear recommendation from the Airports Commission, and make the right choice for a stronger economy, and that’s Heathrow.”
75 percent of Conservative Councillors say a decision on airport expansion should be made soon
According to the results, Conservative councillors are most likely to say that the next Government should prioritise Heathrow expansion (33 percent) and 13 percent say the same of a second runway at Gatwick. In addition, the vast majority (75 percent) of Conservative Councillors say that now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, it is most in the national interest to make a decision on airport expansion in the South East as soon as possible. Only 14 percent say it is most in the national interest to wait.
“At a time of economic uncertainty, Heathrow expansion is a ready to go infrastructure project that will inject £16bn of private sector money into the UK economy. Expansion would create up to 180,000 jobs and up to £211bn in economic benefit,” said Mr Holland-Kaye.