The Air League welcomes the government’s and Parliament’s decision to expand Heathrow Airport and calls upon the Government to move forward through the Planning stages immediately. It is vital that all the infrastructure requirements of expansion, which must be affordable to all users, are provided through the government overseeing a more efficient planning system which guarantees the minimum of delay. It is only if this is done that Heathrow’s leading position as a world class hub airport can be maintained against the fierce competition of its near neighbours in Europe. It is also important that the government takes positive action to minimise the effects of emissions by vehicular transport not only on airport but on the M25 and M4 Motorways so as to ensure that the proposed expansion meets all regulatory requirements and does not face potential legal challenge on this basis. In addition, aircraft manufacturers, airlines and the airport operator will have to play their parts to ensure that the negative effects of aviation are minimised. This includes continually implementing technological as well as operational controls and advances such as Continuous Descent Operations, low power and low drag as well as steeper approaches by aircraft so as to minimise aircraft noise. The aviation and aerospace industries generate £20bn annually to the exchequer, with another £20bn in UK tourism and over £550bn in freight revenues. Heathrow is a leader in this UK success story. It is vital that Heathrow as well as UK aviation and aerospace more generally are from now on strongly supported by government at all levels.
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