Andrew Cowan
Andrew Cowan
Richard Bell

Manchester Airport CEO welcomes Gov decision on ‘vital’ Heathrow expansion

The CEO of Manchester Airport has hailed the Government’s decision to support plans for a third runway at Heathrow.

Backing the controversial expansion plan, Andrew Cowan said it is “vital for the UK economy” to have the “best possible international connections”.

He commented: “Manchester Airport has demonstrated the role it can play in connecting the North to key overseas markets through the launch of services to the likes of Hong Kong, Beijing, San Francisco and Boston in recent years and the announcement of new routes to Africa and India in the past few weeks.

“Manchester is also serving as a second global gateway to the UK for investors and visitors.”

Manchester Airport is currently investing over £1bn to transform its facilities and unlock spare capacity on its two full-length runways.

Mr Cowan continued: “It is clear, therefore, that is has a vital role to play in meeting the UK’s demand for connections to global markets at a time when other major airports will have run out of capacity.”

According to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, 15% of the new landing slots created by the third runway will facilitate regional connectivity.

Speaking further, Mr Cowan said: “Government must now match its support for a third runway at Heathrow with specific and practical proposals to maximise the potential of airports like Manchester in the period to 2030 – the earliest the third runway is likely to be delivered – and beyond that.

“This includes support for schemes like Northern Powerhouse Rail, which will dramatically improve access to the North’s primary international gateway and help secure dozens more direct long haul services to key overseas economies.”

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