26 May 2010 02:05:06
Heathrow and Stansted expansion plans withdrawn
Airport operator BAA has announced that it is officially withdrawing applications for additional runway facilities at Heathrow and Stansted.
The company said that the move is a result of the removal of government support laid out in the coalition programme.
David Cameron's government said that it would be cancelling the creation of a third runway at Heathrow and would not allow any further expansion of Gatwick or Stansted. In contrast, the government will be supporting the creation of a high speed rail network.
Colin Matthews, BAA's chief executive officer, said: "We recognise the importance of government policy in a matter as significant and controversial as runway capacity."
Mr Matthews continued by stating that he believed that there were still economic arguments for the expansion of Heathrow as it would "strengthen the UK's trading links with the global markets".
The aviation industry has been hit hard by recent events, with Heathrow losing 21 per cent of passengers during the flight disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud in April, a situation which led to questions about the UK's reliance on flying.
Environmental groups welcomed the news of the cancellation of Heathrow airport's third runway, which would see passenger numbers increase to 20 million per year.