The Independent - Simon Calder

Speaking exclusively to The Independent, John Holland-Kaye said: “It’s hugely important for the UK to have a world-class hub airport here. What I’d like to see is that we have guaranteed flights from all the UK regions, morning and evening, flying into Heathrow to connect to global markets.”

Heathrow is the most “slot-constrained” major international airport in the world. In 2015 the Davies Commission recommended a third runway should be added to increase capacity at Heathrow by more than 50 per cent.

But the issue is extremely controversial, with court cases and Covid – with the consequent collapse of demand due to travel restrictions – delaying expansion plans.

But some opponents to the third runway say more use should be made of other UK airports so that travellers do not need to change planes at Heathrow.

Paul McGuinness, chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “The Airports National Policy Statement is now five years out of date, and Heathrow’s expansion plans remain incompatible with our carbon reduction commitments.

“The time has come for a National Aviation Strategy, to kibosh once and for all the prospect of regional economic opportunity being overlooked by Heathrow’s narrow economic self-interest.”

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