The new transport minister, Lord Callanan has endorsed the third runway at Heathrow.
The omission from the Queen’s Speech of any mention of the airport had led to speculation that enthusiasm for expansion has waned in Downing Street and the Department for Transport.
Following it, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, Lord Adonis said it could lead to a ‘calamity’ for the UK and jeopardise the expansion at Heathrow.
However, speaking at the Abta Travel Matters conference in London, Lord Callanan said that the reason it was not included in the Queen’s Speech is very simple: it does not require legislation. Heathrow is proceeding and that they are committed to it.
He continued saying that the UK was losing out to foreign airports, and unless the expansion this done, this slide will continue.
The minister said expansion would lead to “greater passenger choice and lower fares”, and that 14 new domestic links would be launched once the runway is built. “We’ll make sure the airport delivers,” he said.
It is now more than two years that the Davies Commission unanimously recommended expansion at Heathrow. It was seen as the best solution to the aviation capacity crunch in South East England.
Lord Callanan, however, did not specify anything about the time of completion for the expansion.