Reaction to airport decision

I was the first Conservative Member to be called by the Speaker to question the Secretary of State for Transport on his announcement about increased airport capacity in the London area.

The decision to go ahead with a third runway at Heathrow is very courageous. Generous levels of compensation are to be offered to affected residents and the Minister also spoke of the importance of noise protection. I therefore expressed the hope that there would be equal treatment for people living close to Stansted Airport where an increasing number of flights are occurring.

The most optimistic date for a third runway at Heathrow being operative is 2025. In the meantime the only spare capacity in the London system is at Stansted. This would mean increasing pressure on the West Anglia line rail connection. Unless there is the investment in extra track capacity demanded by the Taskforce which I chair life would become intolerable for air passengers, airport staff and commuters alike.

The Taskforce report will be launched in Bishop’s Stortford on 27 October.