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Transport Select Committee backs second Gatwick runway and Heathrow rail hub

A House of Commons Committee report has recommended that the Government should consider approving the construction of an extra runway at Gatwick Airport as oppose to Stansted and called on the government to ensure major airports, particularly Heathrow, are connected to a future high-speed rail system.

The committee questioned the need for a second runway at Stansted and asked ministers to reconsider whether Gatwick might prove to be a better location for expansion after 2019.

MPs on the Transport Committee said they were “not convinced a national case for an additional runway at Stansted has been made”, and expressed uncertainty over whether a second runway could be completed at the Essex airport before 2019 when the current restriction on a second runway at Gatwick expired.

In view of the economic benefits to the UK, the Committee endorsed the Government’s support for a third runway at Heathrow, subject to the effective application of tough environmental conditions and an improved rail network.

Committee Chairman Louise Ellman MP said “Aviation is important to the UK economy, both in the southeast of England and in the regions. Regional airports are important for regional economic growth and transport. Heathrow is a major European hub airport but only six UK cities have flights into it. Even with expansion, we need to improve direct access to Heathrow from the national rail network in order to maximise the economic benefits and to reduce the environmental impacts.”

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