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BAA and ABTA comment on British government`s air transport white paper

BAA welcomed the Government`s new framework for UK aviation policy …

BAA welcomed the Government`s new framework for UK aviation policy  and said that it would press ahead with plans for a second runway at Stansted Airport.

BAA said that it would also work urgently to resolve the air pollution issues identified by the Government as a barrier to further runway development at Heathrow Airport.

“Aviation is vital to the economic and social well-being of the UK and we are pleased that the Government has taken such a long-sighted, strategic view in this White Paper,” said Mike Clasper, BAA`s Chief Executive.

“BAA identified four possible options for runway development in the South East and the Government has chosen two of them.

At Stansted, we will proceed at once to draw up detailed plans and to examine the environmental impacts of a second runway.

We will consult closely with the communities affected and address their concerns as sympathetically as possible.

“At Heathrow, we will work with national and local government and with Heathrow-based airlines to resolve air quality problems. This will require action on motor vehicle emissions, as well as aircraft and airport ground vehicles. If these matters can be dealt with to the Government`s satisfaction, we will bring forward a plan for a third, short-haul runway at Heathrow, as the White Paper suggests.” Should the environmental problems at Heathrow not be resolved to the Government`s satisfaction, the White Paper suggests that a second runway at Gatwick should be brought forward, but not before 2019. BAA welcomes the Government`s decision to uphold the agreement which prohibits further runway development at Gatwick before that date.

BAA also commented upon the White Paper`s proposals for Scotland, which involve safeguarding land for a possible additional runway at Edinburgh towards the end of the planning period. Renfrewshire Council has been invited to safeguard land for possible runway development at Glasgow Airport.

“We advised the Government to safeguard land at both Edinburgh and Glasgow. BAA will now work within the new policy framework to develop its Scottish airports to their full potential,” said Mr Clasper.

BAA remains strongly committed with balancing aviation growth with measures to ensure that those who fly should meet the full environmental costs of flying. “We are especially pleased that the Government is to place such emphasis upon addressing the impacts of aviation`s greenhouse gases by pressing for an EU-wide emissions trading scheme.”

BAA Scotland comments on air transport white paper

BAA Scotland commented on the publication of the UK Government`s White Paper on the future of air transport in the United Kingdom.

Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Transport, announced in the House of Commons that the White Paper will safeguard land for a new runway at Edinburgh Airport and recommend that “appropriate measures” are considered to ensure that an additional runway at Glasgow Airport is not ruled out and that a doubling of terminal capacity at Glasgow can be accommodated.

The Government also recognises that Aberdeen Airport will record long-term growth and has not ruled out a runway extension in the long-term to meet demand.

Donal Dowds, managing director of BAA Scotland, said: “BAA Scotland welcomes the Government`s commitment to a long-term airports policy for Scotland and believes that such a view of the future demand, and how this is met responsibly, is in the best interests of Scotland as a whole.

“We remain of the view that protecting land at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports is the most sensible long-term strategy

and welcome the indication from Alistair Darling that runway developments at Glasgow Airport will not be ruled out during the 30 year period.

“We further support the view that Aberdeen Airport will grow over the long-term and BAA Scotland will continue to support that growth.

“BAA is totally committed to Scotland and to developing its key airports to their maximum potential. This company has invested £500 million in the last ten years and plans to invest a further £500 million over the next ten years ensuring that our airports are developed in a timely and cost-effective manner.

“BAA Scotland`s investment costs the Scottish taxpayer nothing and provides a long-term stability to airport growth and development across Scotland.”

ABTA`s response to the aviation white paper announcement

ABTA is pleased with the Government`s announcement on plans for the expansion of existing airports as set out in the White Paper. ABTA welcomes the proposal for a new runway at Stansted airport and is glad that it has not rejected the possibility of further expansion at Heathrow at a future date. By proposing such developments the Government has acknowledged how important aviation is to the British economy through jobs and exports as well as meeting the needs of business and leisure travellers.

It is clear that Stansted alone will not be able to meet the significant increase in demand projected over the next three decades. ABTA would urge the Government to agree to an additional runway at Heathrow as soon as possible, recognising the vital role this airport plays as the nation`s hub, and consider further expansion at Gatwick.

The Government has stressed the need for balance and sustainability and the industry is keen to work with the Government and relevant parties to resolve the outstanding environmental issues affecting local communities.