The debate about Heathrow expansion has been dragging on for decades. I am pleased that the government has taken the positive and bold step of publishing its Airports National Policy Statement.
On 25th June, after a long debate with many important contributions, MPs overwhelmingly backed the government’s proposal by 415 votes to 119. The decisive majority sends a clear message that politicians from both sides of the House believe Heathrow expansion is in the national interest.
It has always been a clear cut argument to me: Heathrow is Europe’s number one airport and, to compete on the global stage, we have to keep it that way. I am confident that expanding Heathrow is the right decision for the local community and the entire UK.
Around 3,500 residents of Spelthorne work at the airport and many more are employed indirectly. A third runway will create tens of thousands of new jobs across the country. Moreover, it will boost key industries, such as the UK’s construction and steel sectors. Above all, it will be an enormous catalyst for economic growth across all regions and nations of the UK.
Nevertheless, airport expansion cannot come at the cost of the local community. I think it is possible to benefit from the economic development that a third runway will bring, whilst protecting the environment and quality of life.
I am fully aware of people’s concerns and we need to tackle them in a clear and logical way. I believe that Heathrow’s current plan puts the local community first with a determined focus on air quality, the mitigation of noise and easier surface access.
Heathrow will be held to account for the promises it has made. I am confident that the proposed plan will help improve quality of life across Heathrow’s communities, while also creating new opportunities for local residents and businesses.
Ultimately, Heathrow expansion will bring jobs, growth and a better future not only for Spelthorne, but for the entire UK.