Grayling to outline the airports draft National Policy Statement on what is one of the UK’s most important infrastructure projects
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is today (Thursday, 2 February) set to outline proposals for a third runway at Heathrow during a visit to Glasgow Airport.
He will outline the airports draft National Policy Statement (NPS) on what is one of the UK’s most important infrastructure projects, which the UK Government says will make sure Britain has the connections it needs to thrive in the global market and send a clear signal that the nation is open for business and creating an economy which works for everyone.
The Government’s draft airports NPS lays down the planning policy framework which the applicant for a new Northwest runway would have to comply with in order to get development consent. It also sets out the need for additional airport capacity in the South East and the reasons why a Northwest runway at Heathrow is the Government’s preferred scheme.
It says this is an important decision for the whole of the UK and that expansion provides the opportunity for airlines to provide more direct flights between Scotland and Heathrow, as there will be less commercial pressure to cut domestic services in order to fit more international flights into their schedules.
Heathrow currently serves four Scottish routes (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen). With expansion, Heathrow says these routes will be protected and increased in frequency, with an additional Scottish route to Prestwick expected to be added by 2030.
In 2040, an extra 980,000 passengers will make one-way trips to, or from, Scotland using international connections offered by an expanded Heathrow, compared to know expansion. Approximately 600,000 of these additional trips will be to long haul destinations and roughly 60,000 of these will be for business, rather than leisure.
Some of these passengers would have travelled without expansion, but not via Heathrow. The increased capacity at Heathrow will mean that passengers have the opportunity to take advantage of new destinations, extra seats and increased frequency of service.
Around 95% of Heathrow’s freight is transported in the hold of passenger planes and expansion would help Scottish products get to export markets across the globe. Heathrow’s biggest export by tonnage in 2014 was fresh and chilled salmon, £290 million of which was exported to non-EU countries, and the majority of which was sourced from Scotland.