Heathrow Airport: Construction

Department for Transport written question – answered on 21st June 2018.

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Photo of Richard Burden Richard Burden Labour, Birmingham, Northfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the expansion of Heathrow Airport on the (a) economy of (i) the West Midlands, (ii) Birmingham and (b) sustainability of (A) Birmingham Airport and (B) East Midlands Airport.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department has undertaken an economic assessment of the effect of a new runway at Heathrow at a national level, taking account of all regions. Businesses from across the UK, including the West Midlands, will benefit as an expanded Heathrow delivers greater connectivity for both passengers and freight, with nearly six million additional trips from passengers outside of London and the South East being made via an expanded Heathrow in 2040.

The Government is clear that while a Northwest Runway at Heathrow will help to secure the UK’s status as a global aviation hub, regional airports will continue to develop their point-to-point networks. The department’s aviation forecasts show that passenger numbers and international flights at airports outside of London are expected to increase by 80 per cent and 71 per cent respectively between 2016 and 2050 with a third runway at Heathrow. These forecasts show demand exists for airports such as Birmingham and East Midlands to continue to grow alongside any expansion in the South East, while individual airport commercial strategies could help them to grow even further.

Lastly, as the Secretary of State set out in his oral statement on 05 June, any new operational runway at Heathrow is still a number of years away. This is why the Government supports airports beyond Heathrow, like Birmingham and East Midlands Airports, making best use of their existing runways. However, the Government recognises that the development of airports can have positive and negative effects, including on noise levels. We consider that any proposals should be judged on their individual merits by the relevant planning authority, taking careful account of all relevant considerations, particularly economic and environmental.

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