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Airports NPS; steps towards letting Britain fly?

There was progress on a third runway at Heathrow Airport last week when the government published its draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), setting out the planning policy framework for a new northwest runway at Heathrow. David Leam, executive director of policy at London First, appeared on Sky News and LBC to discuss why a new runway is crucial to support businesses across the UK.

Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of London First commented:

“After years of delay, we finally have the much-needed decision on a new runway for the UK. Expansion at Heathrow promises over 70,000 new jobs, economic growth, better connections for the UK and an extra £9.5 billion of trade a year, particularly to emerging markets. London has to show it’s open for business and we now need to focus on practical ways to mitigate the impact on local households, while delivering the jobs and real economic benefits promised by expansion at Heathrow.”

London First has campaigned tirelessly for airport capacity expansion in the south east for many years, initiating the Let Britain Fly campaign in 2013. Since the government’s decision to proceed with a new runway at Heathrow, the Let Britain Fly team has handed over to London First’s policy team to keep an active eye on developments.

On Monday 20 February London First, along with the other business groups and supporters, will be hosting a reception in the House of Commons to emphasise the importance of delivering on airport expansion. We will be joined by the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, as well as other high-profile supporters. Please let us know if you would like to attend.

The consultation on the draft NPS is now open and runs until 25 May, and we would encourage members to respond. A second consultation launched by the Department for Transport is running in parallel, on proposals to modernise UK Airspace Policy. This examines how using new technologies can increase capacity across UK airports, while reducing delays and emissions.

London First will continue to make its members’ voices heard throughout the consultation period and beyond. We will also be urging government to make best use of existing airports in the meantime, particularly through improving rail links.

For more information on any of these issues, please contact Richard Dilks: rdilks@londonfirst.co.uk

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