Tom Keighley

Member Article

North East businesses welcome Heathrow expansion calls

North East businesses have welcomed the House of Commons’ Transport Committee’s calls for expansion of Heathrow, and the abolition of Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The Committee’s recent report concludes that a third runway at Heathrow is necessary, and rejects the notion of linking existing airports by high-speed rail as a satisfactory solution.

NECC chief executive, James Ramsbotham, said a removal of APD would help the North East to secure more long haul flights, and attract a direct flight to the US.

He said: “Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a clear example of a tax applied only in the UK. That increases costs and turns businesses off the idea of expanding overseas. This tax is more damaging in regions such as the North East where the Government has pledged to generate towards more private sector activity.

“By removing APD – even for a 12 month period as suggested - the North East could further improve on our impressive export performance and deliver more for UK PLC.

“A third Heathrow runway will also have a positive impact on regional business, improving links from North East airports to the capital and beyond. Hopefully the Government will change its stance on the issue of the third runway for the sake of the greater economic good.”

NECC Vice President and Newcastle International Airport Chief Executive, Dave Laws, said: “I very much welcome the main recommendations in the Select Committee report. Both their support for additional runways at Heathrow and their call for action in relation to Air Passenger Duty would benefit the North East.

“It is now for the Davies Commission to consider the case for Heathrow expansion and for the Treasury to reform APD. We will continue to work with all partners in the region on both fronts.”

Louise Ellman, chair of the House of Commons’ Transport Committee said the building of a Thames estuary hub, otherwise dubbed ‘Boris Island,’ would require the closure of Heathrow with “unacceptable” consequences.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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