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The bosses of five UK regional airports have written to the Airports Commission to give their support for a third runway at Heathrow.
In the joint letter the CEOs and managing directors of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool John Lennon and Newcastle airports said expansion at Heathrow would be “the right choice” for the whole of the UK.
The Airports Commission led by Sir Howard Davies is currently deciding on whether to back Heathrow or Gatwick for airport expansion. A decision is expected after the next general election in May 2015.
Heathrow is currently running at 98 per cent capacity limiting the slots available for domestic routes and onward connections, and limiting choice for passengers, the airport chiefs said.
“The health of the UK aviation industry is not about the success of one airport, but the success of all our airports, each performing a vital role,” the letter said.
“Heathrow’s role is as the UK’s hub, one of only six worldwide with more than 50 long haul routes and expansion there would create over 200,000 more slots. For expansion to benefit the whole country there must be a mechanism in place to strengthen and secure domestic connections to the UK’s hub.
It added: “We will be backing Heathrow expansion in the Airports Commission consultation as the right choice for the whole of the UK.”
The letter was co-wrote by Carol Benzie, managing director, Aberdeen international airport, Amanda McMillan, managing director, Glasgow Airport, John Parkin, CEO, Leeds Bradford international airport, Andrew Cornish, CEO, Liverpool John Lennon airport and David Laws, CEO, Newcastle international airport.
Read an analysis the Davies commission’s interim report for UK airports.