Heathrow expansion 'critical' for north east economy

The expansion of Heathrow Airport is necessary to help safeguard the future of the north east economy, a council has warned government.

Aberdeen City Council has deemed it ‘critical’ that north-east businesses could continue to use London as a means of expanding foreign trade, and views the Heathrow expansion as central to this.

Councillor Jenny Laing is one of 34 council leaders from across the UK who have signed a letter to Patrick McLoughlin, the government’s Transport Secretary, urging him to move ahead with proposals to upgrade the country’s busiest airport.

The plans include building a third runway and connecting the airport to the city’s rail network, and have been on the table for a number of years. A further decision is not expected until October 2016.

Laing commented: “The Heathrow expansion is vital for Aberdeen and Aberdeen’s global business economy, as business leaders require unfettered access to London and its markets.

“The Heathrow expansion also has the support of Aberdeen Airport and Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce because like Aberdeen City Council they understand it is critical that Aberdeen has access to connecting exporters in order to grow markets overseas.

“The first decision of the next prime minister must be to agree the expansion of Heathrow to allow the UK to retain its status as a global nation.”