Airport Capacity and Airspace Policy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:50 am on 2nd February 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Secretary of State for Transport 10:50 am, 2nd February 2017

We and the Scottish Government do not always agree on everything, but I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman and his party, and to the Administration in Edinburgh, for their support for the Heathrow expansion. Indeed, following these exchanges, I shall be heading off to the other side of Scotland—to Glasgow—to talk about the importance of my announcement to the United Kingdom as a whole.

The hon. Gentleman asks about regional airports. Heathrow will be under an obligation to fulfil its promises in respect of regional connectivity. I expect this capacity to open links not only between the United Kingdom and the rest of the world, but from within the United Kingdom to Heathrow and the rest of the world. That is important to airports in Scotland, the north of England, and other parts of the United Kingdom—Northern Ireland, the south-west, and so forth.

The hon. Gentleman asked about the open skies agreement. As I said earlier, that will be a subject for negotiation. We will obviously seek to provide the best possible arrangements for the future but, whatever the arrangements, the fact remains that there were flights to and from European Union capitals long before the European Union even existed, and that will continue after Britain has left the European Union. We will have strong aviation ties around the world. Of course, this expansion is not particularly about European Union links; it will open up ties between the UK and markets around the world, including emerging markets. It will provide Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England with links to markets where there is great potential and opportunity for the future.