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            september 19, 2019

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Airlines ask UK government devise cross-party deal on third runway


Britain's aviation industry said the government needs to come up with a cross-party long-term deal to build a third runway at London's Gatwick, Stansted or Heathrow airports or face the prospect of being overtaken by European rivals, the Shipping Gazette informs. 
"We have had years and years of inactivity on aviation policy which shows this government and previous ones are out of touch with the impact of aviation on the economy," International Airlines Group (IAG) chief executive Willie Walsh told reporters at a news conference.
"All options need to be considered, including a third runway at Heathrow, and if the government eliminates viable options from the process the consultation will become a joke," said Mr Walsh, whose company owns British Airways.
A third runway would be funded by the aviation industry, not taxpayers, Mr Walsh said.
Heathrow is operating at full capacity after the Conservative-led coalition government blocked development of a third runway when it came to power in 2010, Reuters reported. It also refused to approve additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted.
Campaigners against a third runway at Heathrow say further expansion of the west London site would mean an increase in air traffic over London.
Said Virgin Atlantic CEO Steve Ridgway: "All options need to be considered including new airports and runways, but we need a decision quickly so we can get on with things and stop going backwards."
A group made up of BAA, British Airways-owner IAG, Virgin Atlantic, Manchester Airports Group, the Trades Union Congress and the Chamber of Commerce has said the government should implement a new policy and not rule out options favoured by the industry, such as a third runway.

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