Julian Sees Opportunities for Yorkshire in Heathrow Decision
October 25, 2016
Julian has welcomed the Government’s announcement to push ahead with developing a third runway at Heathrow Airport as recommended by the Airports Commission in July 2015.
Mr Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport and Infrastructure made the announcement in the House of Commons earlier today whilst acknowledging that this decision was important for the whole country and will secure business opportunities for the next decade and beyond. The £17.6bn scheme will open 40 new routes for passengers and exporters and is anticipated to create 35,000 new jobs.
Julian highlighted the importance of this expansion for connecting Britain to global markets and improving connections between the South-East and regional airports. A third runway at Heathrow will increase domestic capacity and deliver beneficial effects to Leeds-Bradford Airport and the wider Yorkshire area. York residents are currently only able to fly from Leeds-Bradford to Heathrow on 21 services per week as the London airport currently operates at 98 per cent capacity.
Questioning the Secretary of State following his statement to the Commons, Julian said:
“Regional airports, like Leeds-Bradford, need increased access and not just the status quo. How many more slots will be available to regional airports, and can I push the point that landing charges must not work against internal flights?”
Responding, Mr Grayling stated:
“On the landing charge front I am very keen to ensure that we do not see a big uplift to landing charges as a result of this project” before adding “in terms of connectivity, I am not in a position today to start setting out details of numbers of slots, or exact mechanisms, I simply give the House a very clear commitment that this will be a binding part of what we eventually conclude”
Speaking afterwards about the announcement and the Transport Minister’s response, Julian added:
“Heathrow expansion has the potential to be a great boost to regional airports like Leeds-Bradford and I was encouraged by the Secretary of State’s commitment to ensuring that domestic service capacity will expand following the runway’s construction. I shall be scrutinising his more detailed proposals as they come forward, and my priority will be to make sure provisions to ensure regional airports receive the full benefits of this project are in place”.