Henry Smith MP: Statement on Heathrow Airport expansion announcement

The Government has made the right choice in the national interest, as recommended by the independent Airports Commission, which reported in July 2015.

I am confident that Gatwick will continue to grow as an alternative airport, and I am pleased to see flights expanding from a number of airlines. It is my belief that Gatwick will continue to grow in terms of passenger numbers, as well as routes and destinations. I welcome assurances from the Transport Secretary about investing in upgraded rail links to Gatwick.

Expansion of Heathrow, the UK's connectivity hub, is the right choice for the country, and will increase our trading links with the rest of the world.

Last year, UK airports handled over 250 million passengers; Heathrow is the busiest two-runway airport in the world, and Gatwick the busiest single runway airport.

Heathrow already handles more freight by value than all other UK airports combined, and accounts for 31 per cent of this country’s non-EU trade.

As we leave the European Union, a new runway at Heathrow Airport will put the UK in an even stronger position to compete on the international stage.

Henry Smith MP

Notes to Editors:

The Gatwick Coordination Group have issued a statement on the Government’s announcement of its support for a new runway at Heathrow Airport.