UK runway debate ‘closed’ argues Heathrow chief

UK runway debate ‘closed’ argues Heathrow chief

In his first speech since the Airports Commission’s clear recommendation for Heathrow expansion, Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye has he views the debate on where a new runway should be built to be “firmly closed”.

The Davies Commission last week recommended a third runway be built at London Heathrow Airport to ease aviation congestion in the south-east of England.

Prime minister David Cameron, however, has said the government will delay a decision on a potential new runway until the end of the year.

Holland-Kaye argued Heathrow expansion will enable the government to deliver the UK’s long-term economic plan and revealed the airport is now beginning to move swiftly into the delivery phase.

Expanding Heathrow will create up to £211bn of economic growth and 190,000 new British jobs across the country – the first wave of which will come from the planning and development of an additional runway and new terminals.

Speaking to delegates at the Runways UK conference, Holland-Kaye announced the airport will now begin to develop a comprehensive procurement strategy for the £15.6 billion in private investment that will deliver new hub airport capacity for the UK.

The strategy will focus on developing skills, creating jobs and encouraging growth across the whole of the UK – ensuring that SMEs across the country have the confidence and the support they need to access Heathrow’s supply chain.

Holland-Kaye said: “With expansion, we will create tens of thousands of skilled jobs while we build, as well as when we have built – skills that will leave a legacy of construction excellence in this country that can be sold all round the world. 

“When we built Terminal 2, on time and on budget, we spread our supply chain to all parts of the UK, and we will do the same again, ensuring that all of Britain benefits from Heathrow expansion.”

Holland-Kaye also announced work will begin immediately, with the creation of a Procurement Forum with representatives from different sectors and experiences and from across different regions who will work with Heathrow to champion and challenge the procurement strategy of the airport’s expansion.

The objective of the forum will be to make sure Heathrow has the right strategy in place to deliver Heathrow expansion both on time and on budget, while also considering the wider implications of other major programmes underway, and the supply chain opportunities for growth across Britain.