Prime Minister Liz Truss has voiced her support for Heathrow’s third runway, saying she agreed with the comment made by transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
“I absolutely agree with what the transport secretary said in her comments,” Truss said today during PMQs.
Trevelyan reportedly told a fringe event during the Conservative Party conference last week she was a supporter of the expansion, the Telegraph first reported.
She also added that aviation was a really important part of the country’s growth.
In discussions for more than a decade, the expansion has attracted widespread criticism from environmentalists and residents alike due to the environmental impact it could have.
“A third runway would see over six million more tonnes of carbon pumped into the atmosphere every year and two million households affected by increased noise levels,” said Sarah Olney, Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park.
Olney’s remarks were echoed by Paul McGuinness, chair of campaigners’ group the No 3rd Runway Coalition.
“After all, with forecasts that Heathrow Expansion would lead to a loss of activity at regional airports, even embedded in the policy document originally supporting Heathrow’s growth, and the Climate Change Committee calculating that Heathrow Expansion might require the closure of some regional airports, it is becoming clear that a National Aviation Strategy is required,” he said.
“Indeed, it is difficult to see how any responsible government would allow the interests of the regions to be so inadvertently overlooked by ploughing on with Heathrow, regardless”.
However, supporters of the project – which could cost around £14bn if implemented – said that the expansion is “critical for the UK’s future economic success.”
“It will create jobs, boost Britain’s exports and drive competition and choice to lower airfares for passengers,” said an airport spokesperson.
The airport’s word were echoed by James Watkins, head of policy and public impact at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry who said: “A third runway at Heathrow would ensure London remains an essential hub of interconnectivity for international air travel.
“The positive effects of air travel into London do not stop at the M25 and a third runway at Heathrow will provide even greater capacity for visitors to come to the UK and travel far and wide across the country, helping small businesses in every corner of the country.”
The remarks come just as Heathrow regained its status as Europe’s busiest hub.