Survey finds support for Heathrow expansion among MPs

Survey finds support for Heathrow expansion among MPsImage via Shutterstock

Six out of ten MPs reportedly support expansion at Heathrow, according to a survey commissioned by the London hub airport.

The Ipsos Mori poll of 143 MPs, seen by The Telegraph and including 58 Conservatives and 66 Labour MPs, is the first commissioned by the airport since a third runway option was put back on the table through the Airports Commission inquiry, which has shortlisted two possible designs for expansion at the hub.

The opinion poll shows that 88% of the MPs questioned believe a hub airport, such as Heathrow, is “critical” to Britain’s future economic success.

When asked which option they thought would best solve the issue of hub airport capacity in the UK, 58% answered a third runway at Heathrow while 13% backed a second air strip at Gatwick.

Just 8% favoured London mayor Boris Johnson’s preferred option of a new airport in the Thames estuary which was rulled out last week by the commission.

Just 4% backed a scheme put forward by private company Heathrow Hub to extend the airport’s existing northern runway and effectively operate it as two air strips.

Of those MPs who believe a third Heathrow runway is the best solution, 91% said they thought it “likely” that it would secure parliamentary approval.

Heathrow claimed the poll “explodes the myth that Heathrow is politically undeliverable”.

A decision by the last government to expand Heathrow was overturned by the Coalition and opponents have since claimed that there would be insurmountable political hurdles even if a third runway is recommended by the commission in its final report next year.

But Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “More and more people are backing Heathrow as the best solution for the UK hub capacity crisis. The countries Britain needs to trade with are changing fast and only a hub airport can provide direct access to these markets.”

In a separate interview with The Telegraph, architect Lord Norman Foster, who has designed a string of airports around the world, including Beijing and the terminal building at Stansted, criticises the UK for opting for “quick fix” solutions, rather than investing for the long-term, by ruling out a Thames estuary airport.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


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