If the government fails to take a decision on the expansion of Heathrow airport, then a whopping sum of £710 million a year will be lost to the economy in northern England. This is the claim of a study for the airport.
Heathrow airport that offers domestic flights to eight cities of northern England has assured to increase the number to at least 14 if it is given the go-ahead to build a third runway. So, if the decision goes against or is delayed for too long, then it would jeopardize the Northern Powerhouse. This is because more airlines would then fly north through other European hubs such as Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt.
The Heathrow expansion was backed by the Airports Commission last summer but was facing a strong opposition. There was a tough competition between Heathrow and its rival Gatwick over the issue. Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye, as quoted by the Times, said: “Heathrow is the right choice for a long-term plan to back every corner of the UK”.
He feels that to rebalance and strengthen the British economy, UK needs a domestic hub airport that can compete with their unconstrained hub rivals abroad and only Heathrow has the capability to deliver on that front.
Rival Gatwick, however, claims that a second runway could be built faster and cost less.
As both have given the final submissions to the Department for Transport last week, the well-placed sources indicate that Mr. Cameron would be suggested by the officials to take the decision soon.
Though there are strong buzzes of government making a final decision on runway capacity in the south-east of England in the coming weeks, a senior Cabinet minister suggests otherwise.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin warned that the timetable for David Cameron is very tight and thus to oversee a decision before parliament breaks up for its summer recess seems unlikely.
Right after the much sought after EU referendum, the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war is on priority before the cabinet.
Mr. McLoughlin further added, “I’m very keen that we get an airport decision this year, but seeing the tight schedule it may or may not be possible to get a decision before the House rises in July.”
He, however, was certain that this decision can certainly not be taken when the House of Commons is not sitting.
“To rebalance and strengthen the British economy, the UK needs a domestic hub airport that can compete with our unconstrained hub rivals abroad and that’s something only Heathrow can deliver.”