BAA has joined Future Heathrow, the campaign for the sustainable growth of HeathrowAirport, saying that the expansion of the airport is vital to UKcompetitiveness.
The move is a sign that BAA is increasingly confident that the further growth of the airport is possible within environmental limits on noise, air quality and surface access set out by the Government in its 2003 Air Transport White Paper.
Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of BAA Heathrow says:
"The Government will launch a consultation on the future of HeathrowAirportlater this year and BAA will be campaigning for permission to grow."
"Heathrow is at the heart of the UKeconomy and one of our country's most important assets. It supports thousands of jobs, provides the vital links between the UKand the global economy, and is an absolutely essential factor in convincing companies to locate in Britain. But today Heathrow is full, operating at 99% of its current runway capacity, and vulnerable to foreign competition."
"We do not underestimate the impact that Heathrow's expansion would have on some local communities, but the decline of the UK's only hub airport would also have real and lasting effects.
"We are increasingly confident that the further growth of Heathrow is possible within the environmental limits set out by the Government - that means no more noise than in 2002, air quality pollution safely within EU limits, and public transport improvements to help manage congestion."
Future Heathrow is a coalition of airlines, trades unions, business groups, aircraft manufacturers and other organisations that support the sustainable growth of HeathrowAirport.
Lord Clive Soley, Campaign Director of Future Heathrow says:
"I am delighted that BAA has joined Future Heathrow. It is a sign of the growing realisation that Heathrow cannot stand still. If the airport does not meet the evolving needs of business, then business will simply move elsewhere, with other European airports eager to provide the routes that Heathrow cannot."
For further information contact Heathrow Airport Press Office: 020 8745 7224 or Lord Soley: 07785 250456
Notes to editors:
BAA has been working with the Government, Civil Aviation Authority, and National Air Traffic Services to consider how environmental conditions on noise, air quality and surface access could be met in such a way as to allow the growth of the airport. The work that is being undertaken is known as the Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow and fulfils the Government's commitment in paragraph 11.63 of the Air Transport White Paper to:
"institute immediately with the airport operator and relevant bodies and agencies a programme of action to consider how these conditions can be met in such a way as to make the most of Heathrow's two existing runways and to enable the addition of a third runway".
The results of the environmental assessment will be subject to full public consultation later this year.
Heathrow's growth would only go ahead within strict environmental limits. That means no more noise than in 2002, all air quality pollution safely within EU limits, and public transport improvements to help manage congestion.
Heathrow is vital to UKcompetitiveness. Heathrow provides the vital arteries linking the UKto the global economy. Heathrow is the UK's only hub airport. Around 85% of the UK's long-haul flights depart from Heathrow. It operates the UK's only direct air links to emerging world cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, and Sao Paulo. More than half of all the UK's air freight passes through Heathrow
Heathrow supports thousands of jobs. Heathrow employs 70,000 people and supports over 100,000 further jobs right across the UK. It is the biggest single-site employer in the UK. In some local boroughs as many as one in every ten people in employment work at Heathrow
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