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New regional UK connections are due to be provided to an expanded Heathrow if a third runway at the London hub is built as is expected.
The six regional airports have been named as Belfast International, Liverpool, Newquay, Prestwick, Humberside and Durham Tees Valley. These will come into effect by 2030 and will bring the total to 14 – joining the existing line-up of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds Bradford.
The new capacity available at Heathrow from 2025 is also expected to mean connections for up to 40 more long haul destinations with possibilities including Wuhan, Osaka and Quito.
New policy statement
The latest announcement was part of the publication of the Government’s airports national policy statement and was welcomed by Liverpool John Lennon Airport because it recognised the importance of a link from Merseyside to an expanded Heathrow.
Up to now, restrictions on capacity in the south-east have meant that re-establishing regular flights from Liverpool to the UK’s main hub airport has not been a possibility.
John Lennon Airport CEO Andrew Cornish commented: “The Government has clearly set out that it will hold Heathrow airport to account on securing a number of new domestic routes to regions currently underserved, including Liverpool, as part of the expansion of Heathrow and the new capacity created by a third runway.”
Brian Strutton, the general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association also welcomed the Government’s confirmed commitment to expanding Heathrow, as did the Royal Aeronautical Society air traffic management panel. Its chairman, David McMillan, said: “Despite significant growth in demand for airspace and rapid advancement of aircraft technologies, the fundamental structure of the UK’s invisible infrastructure has changed little over the past 50 years.”
He went on to say that the aviation sector is expected to increase the number of routes serving the UK to support economic growth and to meet the demands of local populations around the country.
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Date Created: 06/02/2017