Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Airport Bosses Awaiting Decision on Third Runway

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Airport Bosses Awaiting Decision on Third Runway

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Robson Reporter ian.robson@ncjmedia.co.uk

BOSSES at Newcastle Airport were on Thursday waiting with bated breath for a decision on the third runway at Heathrow.

A green light for expansion at the London hub is seen is essential for the growth of air traffic from the North East to destinations all over the world.

But, as speculation mounted that a decision will be delayed, bosses said expansion at Heathrow would be a "defining moment" for Newcastle.

It is feared that without added capacity at Heathrow the growth of the region's top airport could be hampered.

Planning director Graeme Mason said Newcastle had always supported the development.

He said: "Fifty per cent of people who fly from Newcastle to Heathrow then catch another plane to destinations all over the world.

"If there is no third runway then gradually all those services could be squeezed out.

"The government is expected to make a decision very shortly . "I would say it is a defining moment for the Government and it is also a defining moment for the North East.

"There are some local London political issues which have to be considered but they are outweighed by the benefits.

"Not going ahead is going to mean Heathrow is constrained, full, and it would give us uncertainly in terms of future links."

He said Newcastle had its own long-haul services from major airlines but it was an important part of their business strategy to feed into big hubs like Heathrow.

He was speaking after Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, said in Newcastle at the weekend that business leaders in the North East should not back a third runway.

She said the country would not meet its environmental targets if expansion at Heathrow went ahead.

Both Labour and Conservative candidates in the London mayoral elections oppose expansion. …

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