20-Mar-2012 12:24 PM

UK Prime Minister 'not blind to the need to increase airport capacity particularly in the Southeast'

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, in a speech on national infrastructure at the Institute of Civil Engineering on 19-Mar-2012, noted (19-Mar-2012) that the UK's planning system for infrastructure is "much too expensive and unbelievably slow", noting it "took almost 20 years to get Terminal 5 at Heathrow". He recognised the nation's "key hub airport is full". He continued, "There is one other transport challenge we need to be bold about too. I’m not blind to the need to increase airport capacity, particularly in the Southeast. We’re acting now to make the best use of existing capacity. Gatwick is emerging as a business airport for London under a new owner, competing with Heathrow. But we need to retain our status as a key global hub for air travel; not just a feeder route to big airports elsewhere in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Dubai. Now, yes this will be controversial and we will need to take decisions for the long term; and we’ll be bringing forward options in our Aviation Strategy which will include an examination of the pros and cons of a new airport in the Thames estuary". [more - original PR - Speech]

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