Heathrow Expansion

The Government's decision to support a new runway at Heathrow in the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) is a momentous step for our country. Heathrow expansion will deliver a boost of up to £74 billion to the economy and ensure the UK maintains its position as a global leader in aviation.

This will be the first full length runway in the south-east since the Second World War, which I believe sends a very clear message that this country is open for business. Forecasts show that by the mid-2030s all five of the London's major airports will be at full capacity. Expanding Heathrow will not only improve connectivity in the UK itself, but will also better connect the UK to long haul destinations in growing world markets, boosting trade and creating jobs. I welcome the fact that Heathrow will be privately funded and that the costs will not be met by the taxpayer. It is also important to remember that expansion would create tens of thousands of local jobs.

Locally, I look forward to seeing what benefits this expansion can bring to the North and in particular Fylde. To this end I have been meeting with the Heathrow expansion team to discuss these potential benefits, including investment in the North and the long term security of Blackpool Airport. With up to 15% of new services being dedicated to regional connectivity, I am confident it will not only be London that reaps the rewards.

The NPS has taken into account public and industry feedback. I welcome the action taken by the Government to ensure local communities and the environment are protected. The NPS includes a legally enforceable ban on scheduled night flights for 6.5 hours, at least an hour longer than the current ban in operation. It is also positive news that the NPS includes a world class package of up to £2.6 billion of compensation and mitigation measures to help those most affected by expansion. I want to assure you that development consent will only be granted if the Government is satisfied that UK air quality obligations are not breached. Ministers have also assured me that expansion can be delivered within the UK's climate change obligations. 

I will continue to meet with Ministers and key stakeholders to ensure that the people, businesses and infrastructure of Fylde see the benefits of this huge investment.