Liverpool backs Heathrow expansion – Manchester not so sure

Managers of Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester Airports have given their responses to the Airports Commission’s recommendation to expand Heathrow.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport welcomed news that of the three schemes shortlisted for expanding aviation capacity in the UK, the Commission unanimously concluded that the proposal for a new runway at Heathrow Airport presents the strongest case and offers the greatest strategic and economic benefits.

LJLA has been a supporter of this proposal for some time. Liverpool, which does not have a service to London at present, needs to access global connectivity through a hub such as Heathrow, however capacity constraints in the South East have meant that the opportunity to re-establish regular flights to the UK’s hub airport has simply not existed for some time.

Andrew Cornish, chief executive of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, said: “Liverpool John Lennon Airport welcomes this news and now urges the Government to give the go-ahead of this important expansion of Heathrow so that regional airports such as Liverpool can soon benefit too by the opening up of access to the UK’s hub airport for improved worldwide connectivity.”

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow Airport, said: “This debate has never been about a runway, it’s been about the future we want for Britain. Expanding Heathrow will keep Liverpool and the whole North West at the heart of the global economy.

“We will create the world’s best connected, most efficient and most environmentally responsible hub airport at the heart of an integrated transport system.

“The Commission has backed a positive and ambitious vision for Britain. We’re ready to connect Liverpool to global growth at the earliest opportunity and will now work with the government to deliver it.”

Liverpool’s larger North West rival at Manchester ran its own campaign to be the base for the UK expansion plan.

Ken O’Toole, managing director of Manchester Airport, said: “The Commission’s report highlights the essential role that aviation plays in connecting the UK to the world, and it is now for Government to develop a policy spanning the short, medium and long term that will deliver the capacity needed for the country to thrive in a modern, global society.

“Aviation policy must address the need for the UK to develop a strong network of competing airports, and ensure that best use is made of capacity available at Manchester in the period before any runway can be delivered – something that will take 15 years or more.

“In recent years Manchester Airport has gone through a period of significant growth and this year reached an all-time record for passenger numbers. Our location in the North West, together with exceptional road and rail connectivity, means customers of Manchester Airport are drawn from as far North as Scotland and South to the Midlands. We have more routes than any other UK airport and a network of long haul destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Miami and Los Angeles that are not accessible from anywhere else in the UK outside of London.

“The Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Transport recently highlighted Manchester Airport’s key role in the creation of a Northern Powerhouse. Over the long term, this role will be strengthened further with the delivery of high speed rail both to and across the North, enabling the airport to offer more passengers direct connections to a wider range of destinations.”

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