Heathrow CEO Hails Support for Expansion

The Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport John Holland-Kaye has hailed what he calls the ‘broad support’ that expansion at the London airport has throughout the country just as the government prepares to make a final call on the scheme.

Coming at the same time as the airport announced figures that show a record number of passengers (57.3 million) passed through the airport in the first nine months of this year, Holland-Kaye seemed confident that Heathrow would win the race for a third runway.

Praising Theresa May’s ‘strong leadership’, he said that the airport is ready to deliver a new runway as soon as it gets the ‘green light from the government’.

Despite protestations from environmental campaigners and local residents, the pendulum seems to be swinging back into Heathrow’s favour this week with a decision by the government set to be made imminently.

However, a parliamentary vote still needs to take place next year to fully give expansion the go ahead and while the likelihood of protracted battles in the courts are likely to delay work beginning even further.

Despite Holland-Kaye’s confidence, there are still significant concerns about the negative impact on air quality and noise pollution as a result of a third runway and increased air traffic at the south east airport.

A leaked memo penned by a former adviser to David Cameron revealed yesterday that the government could be significantly exposed once a decision has been made, arguing that it does not have an answer on the issue of air quality.

Written by Camilla Cavendish a year ago in response to a draft of the then environment secretary Liz Truss’ air quality plan, it alleges that the government does not ‘have an answer on air quality’ for Heathrow expansion.

Following the leak, Cavendish, who is now a peer, said: “Now this is in the public domain I have to say that I believe successive governments have failed the public on air quality. Too many people in Whitehall and parliament think they can play it down because it’s invisible.


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BDC 309 : Oct 2023