The call for a third runway to be built at Heathrow Airport has been joined by International Air Transport Association director general, Tony Tyler. At an aviation conference in Beijing, Tyler explained that if the Coalition refuses to entertain the idea of expansion at the UK’s busiest airport then Britain could be sidelined from its present position as one of the world’s most important hubs.
He added that it was sad to think that the leading role the UK has played in aviation over the decades was being eroded because the government was doing nothing about capacity problems in the south east.
He went on to say that as Heathrow withers and loses the confidence of major carriers they will look to be served by other European hubs. He said that this was a shame because London’s position as a major global financial centre is partly due to the fact that it has traditionally been so well connected.
Head of Cathay Pacific, John Slosar, said that he agreed that the UK need to do something about limited capacity be it a new runway or a new airport. He explained that if the government were to continue doing nothing then the country would miss out on the growth in travel expected over the coming decade.
Malaysia Airlines commercial director, Hugh Dunleavy, said that the most obvious way forward was to invest in Heathrow. He added that a new runway might add some noise but that those living near the airport really should have realised that it was an airport at the time the bought the property.