Regions must benefit from South East Expansion


Durham Tees Valley Airport chiefs stressed today that whichever option was finally chosen for expanding airports capacity in the South of England, measures had to be put in place to ensure that all regions in the UK had access to London and the international air network.

Commenting on the independent Airports Commission’s recommendation that there should be a third runway at Heathrow Durham Tees Valley Managing Director Steve Gill said it was vital that the Government recognised the importance of air services to delivering economic growth across the country.

Said Mr Gill “Whilst we do not favour any particular option for expanding capacity in the South East our strong message to Government is that the whole nation must benefit—and that will only be achieved if the increased capacity reverses the trend of recent years where many regions have seen services into the UK’s international hub decline or vanish altogether.

“In common with other regional airport operators we have consistently stressed to the Commission and to Government that, unless slots for regional services are provided and protected, there will be a very real risk that areas most in need of economic growth and investment will lose out.

“One of the Government’s flagship policies if, of course the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ initiative aimed at bridging the economic disparities across the country. Transport links—including those needed by the region’s businesses to compete within the UK and in global markets—will be the key to delivering the ambitions for the North which have been set out by Ministers.

“Following today’s recommendation from the Airports Commission the decision is now in the Government’s hands and we hope that the needs of the regions—their economies and their airports—will be given proper consideration.”

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