Airports Commission Recognises Regional Connectivity Matters

Airports Commission Recognises Regional Connectivity Matters

The UK’s Regional and Business Airports Group (RABA) has today given its whole-hearted endorsement to the recommendations made in the Airports Commission’s final report to Government. The report highlights the need for enhanced regional air connectivity as an important part of the Commission’s preferred scheme for an additional runway in London and the South East at Heathrow.

Many of the Group’s member airports are anxious to take advantage of the additional capacity a new runway will provide to establish, or in some cases resume, air services to London and the UK’s national hub airport. This will help deliver improved global connectivity to the regions and nations of the UK they serve.

Welcoming the Commission’s findings, Chairman John Spooner commented:

 “We are delighted that Sir Howard and his colleagues have listened to the arguments that we and many other regional and national stakeholders have been making about the crucial role these connections can play in encouraging economic growth. It is only right and fair that all parts of the UK, not just London and the South East, should benefit from investment in nationally important infrastructure projects such as the new runway.”

 He noted:

 “The Commission have helpfully also cut through the uncertainty about whether slots can be made available for such services, by acknowledging there is no legal impediment to using Public Service Obligations as a mechanism for delivering these aspirations. The Government should change its current de minimis policy in this area and embrace the opportunities which active and positive support of regional air services provides.”

 Concluding Mr Spooner said:

 “It is now imperative that the Government acts quickly upon the Commission’s recommendations and pushes forward the delivery of a new runway and associated enhanced regional air access, as soon as possible. The debate on new runway capacity has been going on for too long. We now have a clear well-evidenced report identifying the direction to follow that will benefit British businesses and allow the country’s economy to grow. The time for prevaricating is over; we need the Government to demonstrate it can make, and follow through, strategically important but politically difficult decisions”

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