Heathrow chief executive says Labour is not backsliding on support for third runway

Helen Cahill
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The Debate Over The Third Runway At Heathrow Airport Continues
The Heathrow boss is confident of Labour's support (Source: Getty)

The boss of Heathrow has said today that Labour is not backsliding in its support for the airport's expansion plans.

Speaking to City A.M., Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said he had not seen any evidence of a loss of support for the third runway while at Labour conference this week.

He added that there was also a need for more infrastructure development around the airport to support its expansion. In particular, he said rail routes towards the airport were particularly important to help travellers access the airport.

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"We need to start putting that infrastructure in place," he said. "We need to meet the needs of local businesses."

The expansion of Heathrow is expected to open up 40 new long-haul routes and 14 regional routes (up from a total of eight at the moment), the airport has said.

It has also estimated that the third runway will bring a total of 180,000 new jobs to the UK economy, and 10,000 apprenticeships.

However, there are still some hurdles that Heathrow must clear before it can build the runway. It is currently preparing its national policy statement, which will be examined by MPs, and it is also readying its planning application.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said in July that a parliamentary vote on Heathrow's expansion would be delayed until next year due to the timing of the General Election.

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