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Airlines welcome 'sensible' report from Sir Howard Davies

Narrowing the options to Heathrow and Gatwick, in today’s interim report from the Airports Commission, is a welcome development in the ongoing saga on the UK’s future airport capacity needs, according to the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK).

Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR UK, said “Despite the inevitable challenges and disagreement that will follow, the vast majority of airlines believe that expanding Heathrow is now the only sensible way forward for the UK. Sir Howard and his team have correctly identified that other proposals would cost billions in public funding and could create mass relocations and associated social upheaval and economic pain, or not deliver on the core objectives.

"Unlike rail, it’s the world’s airlines and their customers who will ultimately pay for the new airport infrastructure through airport charges. Since aircraft are a moveable asset, the UK cannot risk building capacity where the airlines and their customers don’t want it.

"Airlines are also highly supportive of the inclusion of an optimisation strategy, with Sir Howard acknowledging that this is not only an issue of airlines adding more flights to meet increasing demand, but also about improving resilience and the customer experience. The travelling public want the industry and the Government to reduce delays caused by congestion and to fully meet their future travelling needs. This can only be achieved by having three or more runways together in the right location.”

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