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London First writes to Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening

London First writes to State for Transport Justine Greening, calling for the government to include the option of expanding Heathrow in its review of aviation policy.

The Government’s review of aviation policy

Dear Secretary of State for Transport

International air links are critical to the UK’s economic success. Our ability to win new markets in Latin America, Asia and the Far East against fierce global competition relies heavily on our ability to fly direct and establish trade. But we have fewer weekly flights than our European rivals to seven of the eight growth economies identified by the IMF and our national hub airport – Heathrow – is full. And despite forecasting that in a little over fifteen years all of London’s other major airports will also be full, Government has so far ruled out growth at any of them. This puts the UK increasingly at a competitive disadvantage.

So while we welcome the Government’s review of its aviation policy, its credibility rests on examining all options to meet the vital need for more flight capacity in the short and medium term (next 15 years) as well as in the longer term. The UK needs more hub capacity to support economic growth now, not just in 20 to 30 years’ time. Ruling out growth at London’s major airports – and above all at our national hub, Heathrow – cannot be the right starting point.

Any growth at Heathrow would, of course, have a local environmental impact, principally through increased noise. Action can, and must, be taken to mitigate this. It may be that the review would conclude that the environmental impact would outweigh the national benefits from growth– but this option should be transparently evaluated, not arbitrarily ruled out. We therefore call on government to include the option of expanding Heathrow in its review, alongside all others, and to make its assessment on the basis of the best available evidence. Only that way can aviation policy be put on a more rational and sustainable footing.


Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive, London First
John Vincent, Director of Strategic Planning and Advisory, AECOM
Jay Marciano, President and CEO, AEG Europe
Surinder Arora, Chairman, Arora Hotels Limited
David Tonkin, Regional Managing Director, UK, Atkins plc
Chris Elliott, Managing Director – Barclays Infrastructure Funds, Barclays Bank plc
Tony Pidgley, Chairman, Berkeley Group
Chris Grigg, Chief Executive, British Land
Mike Rake, Chairman, BT Group
Paul Westbury, Chief Executive, Buro Happold
Ian Durant, Chairman, Capital & Counties Properties PLC
George Iacobescu, Chairman & Chief Executive, Canary Wharf Group PLC
Robin Hall, Chairman, Cinven
Stuart Fraser, Chairman of the Policy & Resources Committee, City of London
Des Gunewardena, Chairman & CEO, D & D London
Malcolm Sweeting, Senior Partner, Clifford Chance
Mike Redican, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank AG London
Julian Barwick, Executive Director, Development Securities PLC
Kevin Murphy, Chief Executive, ExCeL
Mark Elborne, President & CEO, GE UK, GE
Toby Courtauld, Chief Executive, Great Portland Estates plc
Peter Vernon, Chief Executive – Britain & Ireland, Grosvenor
Jonathan Scott, Senior Partner, Herbert Smith
Ian Carter, President of Global Operations, Hilton International
Dave White, Managing Director, ITRM
George Kessler CBE, Group Deputy Chairman, Kesslers International Limited
Francis Salway, Chief Executive, Land Securities
Peter Robinson, Chairman, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
Malcolm Gillies, Vice Chancellor, London Metropolitan University
Charlie Millard, Director, Head of Office, M Moser Associates Ltd
Mark Reynolds, Deputy Chief Executive, Mace Ltd
Martin Roberts, Partner, Head of London Office, Pinsent Masons
Ray Auvray, Executive Chairman, Prospects
John Rhodes, Senior Director, Quod
Jasminder Singh, Chairman, Radisson Edwardian Hotels
Andrew Walters, Chief Executive, Regional Airports Limited
Nigel Rich, CBE, Chairman, Segro
Irvine Sellar, Chairman, Sellar
Andreas Markides, Chairman, SKM Colin Buchanan
Gareth Pearce, Chairman, Smith & Williamson
Tim Hancock, Managing Director, Terence O’Rourke
Mike Nichols, Founder and Chairman, The Nichols Group
William McKee, Chairman, TIlfen Land
Vincent Clancy, Chief Executive Officer, Turner & Townsend
Malcolm Grant, President and Provost, UCL

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