I have been contacted by many constituents about airport expansion, particularly the potential of a third runway at Heathrow.
The Government is due to make a decision on airport expansion this month. The Airport Commission's final report concluded that the proposal for a new northwest runway at Heathrow, combined with a significant package of measures to address its environmental and community impacts, presents the strongest case and offers the greatest strategic and economic benefits. The report found that this option would provide around 40 new destinations from the airport, and more than 70,000 new jobs by 2050. The Government will continue to consider the shortlist of options.
I will be supporting the option that best serves the South West, which I believe to be expansion at Heathrow. Although I have expressed environmental concerns, I was encouraged by the recent independent report from the University of Cambridge suggesting that a new runway could be built without exceeding air pollution limits. I will continue to listen carefully to any Government announcements until a final decision is made.
I know that my ministerial colleagues are fully committed to delivering the important infrastructure projects they have set out, including delivering runway capacity on the timetable set out by the Davies report. It is vital that the UK is seen to be open for business and building the infrastructure we need to compete.
Thank you again to all those who took the time to contact me about airport expansion.