To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an estimate on the level of debt liable to the public purse in the event that the Airports National Policy Statement is approved by Parliament but Heathrow Airport Limited is unable to finance its expansion.
The Government is clear that the Northwest Runway scheme at Heathrow will be financed by the private sector without Government support. In the event that Heathrow Airport Limited were unable to finance its scheme, there would be no default cost to Government.
The Government and its advisers have undertaken considerable assurance work on the financial viability of Heathrow Airport Limited's scheme. Given the transformative nature of the scheme, there will almost certainly be various risks and challenges that will need to be addressed as the scheme design and regulatory framework are developed. The Government has concluded that, so far as can be assessed at this early stage of the process, in current market conditions Heathrow Airport Limited appears in principle to be able to finance expansion privately and without Government support.