Statement from Andrew Cowan: Reaction to Government's National Airport Policy Statement

Today, alongside confirming support for the development of a third runway at Heathrow, the Government has confirmed, in a statement to Parliament, its support for other UK airports looking to make best use of existing runway capacity. The policy makes clear that Government supports all UK airports making best use of their existing runways. This follows a consultation last year as part of the Government’s development of a new Aviation Strategy.

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “We welcome today’s statement from Government confirming its support for airports looking to make best use of existing capacity and agree that it is vital for the UK economy that the country has the best possible international connections

“Manchester Airport has demonstrated the role it can play in connecting the North to key overseas markets through the launch of services to the likes of Hong Kong, Beijing, San Francisco and Boston in recent years and the announcement of new routes to Africa and India in the past few weeks. Manchester is also serving as a second global gateway to the UK for investors and visitors.

“Building on these successes, Manchester Airport is investing more than £1bn in transforming its facilities and unlocking the spare capacity on its existing two full-length runways.

“It is clear, therefore, that is has a vital role to play in meeting the UK’s demand for connections to global markets at a time when other major airports will have run out of capacity.

“Government must now match its support for a third runway at Heathrow with specific and practical proposals to maximise the potential of airports like Manchester in the period to 2030 – the earliest the third runway is likely to be delivered – and beyond that.

“This includes support for schemes like Northern Powerhouse Rail, which will dramatically improve access to the North’s primary international gateway and help secure dozens more direct long haul services to key overseas economies.”