British Airways’ chief executive Rod Eddington said: “We congratulate the government on recognising the enormous benefits that a third runway at London Heathrow airport will bring to Britain.
“For the first time, we have an effective forward-looking aviation policy which recognises Heathrow’s key role as Britain’s main gateway airport. Its continuing development has been guaranteed with Terminal Five, the opportunity to introduce mixed mode in peak periods and a third runway with a dedicated terminal. That is excellent news for the aviation industry, customers, national and regional businesses and tourism.
“We will work with the government and local authorities to establish an immediate programme of action that addresses the environmental issues at Heathrow and we will play a full part in ensuring that these issues are resolved.
“We will engage with BAA and other interested parties to ensure that Heathrow’s third runway is built as soon as possible in the timescale specified by the government.
“The government’s plans for new runways at Birmingham and Edinburgh airports are also welcomed.”