I was delighted that yesterday the Government has announced that it is to go ahead with the expansion of Heathrow Airport by building a new North West runway, as recommended by the Airport Commission. This is a long overdue and much needed investment in improving airport capacity in the UK. If we were to do nothing then London flights would be full by 2020, which will mean more delays, fewer flights and passengers having to fly from elsewhere.
It is important to stress that the benefits of this expansion will not be confined to the south east and London. This will benefit the entire country, from the aerospace supply chain and the jobs that come with it, new and increased access to international and domestic markets, and binding commitments to provide better connections to the other regions in the UK as part of an enhanced connectivity as a whole. I was also pleased to hear that the expansion will be built using UK steel.
Air quality is, of course, very important and the Secretary of State, Chris Grayling, has assured us that the new runway is deliverable within air quality limits. We have a national air quality strategy.
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