Airport News

BAA chief defends Heathrow expansion

Fri, 27 Jun, 2008

Colin Matthews, the chief executive of airports operator BAA, has defended calls for London Heathrow Airport to be expanded with a third runway.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that another runway at Heathrow would help address existing concerns about the quality of service at the airport.

Mr Matthews argued that greater capacity would help reduce delays and improve the relationship between passengers and staff.

"We have our runways used at something like 99 per cent of their capacity, which means that the slightest external shock knocks off the schedule for the whole day," he stated.

Moreover, a third runway would protect London's reputation as an economic and business powerhouse, he added.

Last month, the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) said plans to expand London Heathrow should be put on hold.

Hugh Raven, who authored a report for the SDC, said questions still remain over the environmental and economic arguments for expansion.

Joe Evans

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