Heathrow expansion: Some 34 councils urge government to back third runway

An aircraft flies over residential houses in Hounslow as it prepares to land at London Heathrow Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Local authorities said airport expansion was "even more important" during uncertain economic times.

More than 30 councils from around Britain have signed a letter urging the government to back Heathrow expansion.

The missive to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that creating a third runway at Heathrow would create jobs and economic growth.

Opponents claim it would be cheaper and less disruptive to enlarge Gatwick.

The decision on airport expansion has been put on hold until "at least October" following the UK's Brexit vote and David Cameron's resignation.

The Airports Commission recommended to the government last July there should be a third runway at Heathrow rather than a second at Gatwick.

In December the Department for Transport announced that further investigation into noise, pollution and compensation would be carried out before a decision was made.

'Future proofing'

The leaders of 34 local authorities said that investment in infrastructure was "even more important" during uncertain economic times and the UK should build on the success of the aviation industry by "future-proofing it".

Councils such as Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Aberdeen and Neath Port Talbot were among those signing the letter.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: "Councils from across the country recognise expansion at Heathrow will benefit their local economies by creating skilled jobs and connecting exporters to growing markets overseas.

"Their support is further evidence that the next prime minister has the opportunity to make the right choice in the whole of Britain's interest by expanding Heathrow."

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said his airport was the only one that could "deliver the expansion we need and do so by 2025".

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