Belfast Telegraph

Additional capacity essential at Heathrow and Gatwick, says Abta chief

Travel firms have described the third runway announcement for Heathrow as "essential" to boosting the economy.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel association Abta, said there is a clear case for increasing capacity at both Heathrow and Gatwick.

He said: " Increasing airport capacity is essential to the UK's economy, growth and global competitiveness and we are pleased that this decision has been arrived at after fair, transparent and thorough processes and consultations.

"Abta takes a long-term view on growing airport capacity. We have urged expansion at both Heathrow and Gatwick to meet the 2050 demand, rather than just 2030 capacity needs.

"The case for expansion at both airports remains clear: Heathrow is full and Gatwick operates at full capacity at peak times. Additional capacity is essential at both airports to cope with growing passenger demand and provide resilience."

Mr Tanzer said c omprehensive public transport access is vital to support demand for the extra flights.

He added that the scheme must be " cost-efficient" and warned that passengers today "must not be expected to pay for a runway" that will not open until 2025.