Heathrow expansion backed by MPs

A Parliamentary committee has endorsed the Heathrow Airport third runway plan. The House of Commons Transport Committee gave the rubber stamp to the plans, though it also called for safeguards covering air quality, surface access, airport charges, and impact on local communities.

The committee’s decision to back the Heathrow Airport plans was welcomed by IATA, that also said Heathrow is the correct location for airport capacity to be extended. IATA also cautioned that the costs of the project could quickly get out of control.

“The airline community supports Heathrow as the right location to expand airport capacity, but has two overriding concerns: affordability, and operational flexibility. Both are jeopardised by the current plans from Heathrow’s owners,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s regional vice president for Europe.

“The select committee’s recommendations on cost control should be essential reading for the government, for Heathrow Airport Holdings, and anyone with a stake in the future of air transport in the UK. At the moment, we are looking at extra capacity in the right place, but at the wrong price. We need guarantees regarding how costs will be managed, especially if key risks are not known at this stage.”