Third runway at Heathrow 'crucial for London'
Mon, 25 Feb, 2008
Go-ahead on the third runway at London Heathrow Airport is vital to protect the city's status as Europe's financial and business centre, it has been claimed.
Sir Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic, warned that the airport needs to continue to expand in order to compete with other major European cities.
"Routine delays and circling overhead by all airlines, manoeuvres that simply increase pollution levels, will only be stopped with extra capacity," he said.
Should the protests against the airport expansion be successful, businesses are likely to move their global headquarters to other cities such as Frankfurt, taking thousands of jobs with them, Sir Richard added.
Research released by British Airways today has claimed that weather delays at London Heathrow Airport could be cut by two-thirds if the two existing runways were utilised in a more flexible way.
Arrivals are currently restricted to one runway at a time, unlike London Gatwick Airport where a "mixed mode" operation is used.