HEATHROW CAUGHT OUT IN TRIPLE-WHAMMY BLOW FOR PASSENGERS, TAXPAYERS AND RESIDENTS
15 August 2017
For immediate use
HEATHROW CAUGHT OUT IN TRIPLE-WHAMMY BLOW FOR PASSENGERS, TAXPAYERS AND RESIDENTS.
Heathrow Airport Ltd. have delivered a triple-whammy blow for passengers, taxpayers and residents with the proposals for expansion if the west London airport.
Heathrow were caught out in a revealing expression of intent to pass on the costs of a new runway onto passengers, through its airline customers, despite the Government insisting the cost of a third runway must mean charges should remain around the same as they are now (1).
The revelation, made by Heathrow to the Civil Aviation Authority, in a document submitted earlier this year, asks for permission to factor in a huge array of financial risks from building a third runway when it decides how much the airport can charge airlines (1).
British Airways’ owner, IAG, warned the move will lead to charges doubling from about £40 to £80 for a return ticket.
The Government had stated that in offering Heathrow its support for delivering a third runway, that costs to passengers must not increase (2).
If airlines decide not to take up the expensive slots or there are construction delays and higher debt costs, it is likely charges would need to increase before any new runway is operational. A more expensive Heathrow is unlikely to sufficiently boost passenger numbers and would impact job security locally.
Stop Heathrow Expansion has previously warned that the huge cost of transport infrastructure, estimated at around £17bn (3), would have to be paid by taxpayers, as the airport refuses to commit to finance more than £1.1bn of these costs (4).
Over 1,000 homes would be demolished following the issuing of a compulsory purchase order, yet no plans are in place as to where any of these residents, which include hundreds of children from two schools that would also be demolished, would go (3).
Robert Barnstone, Stop Heathrow Expansion’s Campaign Coordinator, said: “The latest story in Heathrow Airport’s struggle to get a new runway will not be welcome news for anyone. If a third runway gets the go ahead in a parliamentary vote next year, the latest news confirms that airline passengers and taxpayers had better be ready to pay for it.
“A project of this size is more than likely to follow the usual overruns of UK infrastructure projects, which are usually delivered late and well over-budget. Yet it will be the passengers that pay for its construction of the and UK taxpayers that pay for road and rail upgrades.
“Heathrow have been caught out. This is a triple-whammy blow; passengers will be priced out of using the airport, residents will be forced out of their homes. Taxpayers will be spent out. Now is the time that the Government should back out of supporting this cataclysmal project.”
Notes for editors:
1 – Passengers face risk for new Heathrow runway, Sunday Times, 13 August 2017 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/passengers-face-risk-for-heathrows-new-runway-npg2xnqmn
2 – Chris Grayling, Statement to House of Commons, 25 Oct 2016 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/airport-capacity
4 – John Holland-Kaye, Environmental Audit Committee Oral Evidence Session, 4 Nov 2015
For more information: Robert Barnstone; 07806 947050, Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org