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Heathrow third runway is key to economic success, says Unite

Published 06/12/2015

Unite is backing plans for a third runway at Heathrow
Unite is backing plans for a third runway at Heathrow

The country's biggest trade union is calling on MPs to support the building of a third runway at Heathrow airport, saying it was "fundamental" to the success of the economy.

Unite said it was strongly in favour of recommendations earlier this year from the Airports Commission that Heathrow should be expanded. The union will brief MPs in the Commons this week as part of its campaign to back Heathrow, with the Government expected to make its decision within days.

General secretary Len McCluskey said: "The building of a third runway is fundamental to the success of at least two major industries of strategic national importance, aviation and aerospace, as well as being crucial to securing our country's long-term economic prosperity.

"Over the coming decades the noise impacts of Heathrow are forecast to reduce significantly, as new and quieter aircraft come into service and as flight paths are redesigned and improved. With expansion, the overall number of flights would grow, but new approach and departure paths could enable the noise impacts to be dispersed more widely, limiting the impacts on any individual community.

"The Commission's conclusions also propose a package of strong mitigation measures amounting to a new settlement for local communities living near Heathrow.

"These include a ban on night flights, a new noise envelope that could stipulate no overall increase in noise levels, a guarantee to keep air quality within EU legal limits, a £1bn community compensation fund paid for by Heathrow, and the establishment of an independent aviation noise authority. Hence local noise and environmental impacts have been adequately considered and will be managed and minimised."

Mr McCluskey added: Ït goes without saying that a further 'condition' that our union has placed on our support for expansion is the maintenance and creation of high quality and sustainable jobs.

"We have an aviation and aerospace sector that are currently world class, providing a wide spectrum of jobs and sustaining skilled employment across the country."

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