Minister pushes case for big airport expansion

A rendering of Foster's four runway airport on the Isle of Grain
A rendering of Foster’s four runway airport on the Isle of Grain

The new aviation minister, Robert Goodwill, has publicly spoken of the need for London’s biggest airports to grow.

The minister, who was speaking at the Airport Operators Association conference yesterday (21 October) addressed the delegates with his message, saying that it was “vital we support growth in this sector”.

He went on to list the regional success of airports like Manchester, Birmingham and Stansted, he conceded that while the stories were positive, it did not give the UK the hub capacity it needed to grow.

Goodwill’s message that he wants to grow London’s big airports – Heathrow and Gatwick – would suggest that Boris Johnson’s idea for a new airport to be built on the Isle of Grain is out of favour.

The Guardian quoted Goodwill saying: “Aviation needs to grow, to support economic expansion, while giving due respect to the wider environment and the quality of life of those on the ground.”

However he refused to be drawn into taking sides, saying it would be foolish to pre-empt the commissions conclusions.

Sir Howard Davies is due to speak at the conference today.

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