UK economy depends on Heathrow expansion - Heathrow Airport News

Airport news for Heathrow on 20/11/2008.

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British Airlines chief executive Willie Walsh made his comments in advance of a decision by the government on the third runway proposal, which is set to be announced in December.

Walsh is saying that a rejection of the project would mean that Britain would not have an air hub capable of competing with major hubs on the continent and the Middle East.

Walsh explained: “Since 1990, while the networks of Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris Charles de Gaulle have increased, Heathrow’s has declined by 20%. The threat to Heathrow is not just from the Continent. In Dubai, construction is well under way of a six-runway, 24-hour hub which its planners want to become the key link between aviation’s biggest market, North America, and its fastest-growing, Asia. Flights would bypass Europe completely.”

In his remarks delivered at the Airport Operators’ Association annual conference in London, he noted: “We are not good at infrastructure planning in this country. Projects often take decades from conception to execution. We have already had six years of public scrutiny of a third runway – and we are not over the starting line.”

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