BAA this week denied Conservative claims that it is planning to scrap plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport.
Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers claimed last week that BAA had accepted that the Conservatives will prevent it from building a third runway if they win the next election.
She said BAA was delaying its third runway planning application until after election day. BAA rejected this claim and said that preparations for the planning application are still ongoing. It said it had always been likely that the application would be submitted after the election.
“We remain convinced that a third runway is the only viable, costed and thought through way of meeting the need for extra runway capacity to maintain this country’s global connections.”
“We remain convinced that a third runway is the only viable, costed and thought through way of meeting the need for extra runway capacity to maintain this country’s global connections to the rest of the world, particularly in an era where long haul links to markets such as China and India are increasingly important,” said a BAA spokesman.
“The process of putting in a planning application is complex, particularly given the new planning structure put in place as recently as 1 October. The process was always going to take until after the General Election. We continue to work on the application and will take as long as is necessary to prepare a proper submission.”
Plans for a third runway face strong opposition. The Conservatives pledged to have the project scrapped, promising to build high speed rail lines from London to the north west instead.