Chris Grayling is set to signal an appetite for new runways at UK regional airports this week

Chris Grayling MP is set to signal an appetite for new runways at UK regional airports this week, in a report in Monday’s City AM.
Sadly no real sign of discussions of how the regional airports including Manston might be able to help before the chosen solution/s are completed, but at least regionals are getting a mention of sorts. It would of course be far better if the Government had a concerted policy to make use of all regional airports for the country’s benefit and to prevent their loss.
The comments come after Chris Grayling appears to have signalled support for Plymouth Airport reopening, should it prove viable in a Department of Transport feasibility study still to be published:
“Transport secretary Chris Grayling is this week expected to signal fresh appetite for expansion at the UK’s regional airports as well as in the south east.
A special cabinet committee headed by Prime Minister Theresa May meets tomorrow to decide whether Gatwick or Heathrow should be expanded to give the south east more airport capacity. Grayling will announce the verdict later in the week.
Heathrow is the favourite to get the green light, but Whitehall sources say Grayling will stress the desire for further projects beyond the west London site.
He is expected to note the government’s appetite for new runways outside of London, in a move that will provide encouragement to airports in Birmingham, Manchester and further afield.
One source described the transport secretary’s expected statement as likely to be “Go for it Heathrow, keep working Gatwick and start drafting Birmingham”, although Grayling is not expected to cite the West Midlands city directly.
The move tallies with May’s desire to foster economic development beyond London and the south east through projects such as the Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse.
Officials at Birmingham are known to be drafting airport expansion plans. Earlier this month, a spokeswoman for the airport told City A.M. that specific proposals were under development but not yet being publicly disclosed.
A Department for Transport spokesman said yesterday: “The case for aviation expansion is clear – but it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come.
“As well as progressing the package of further work announced previously, the government will continue to consider the [Davies] Commission’s evidence before reaching a view on its preferred scheme this week.”
Speaking to the BBC yesterday, Grayling stressed that no verdict had yet been reached on whether to back Heathrow or Gatwick.
Three options remain on the table including a new runway at either site, or an extension of the northern runway at Heathrow.
On the Andrew Marr show, Grayling said: “We’ve got three very good options on the table. Genuinely, it’s going to be a decision on Tuesday.”
And the transport secretary also denied that plans for MPs to have a final vote on the plan in winter 2017/18 represented a delay to the project.
“It’s a statutory process. One of the myths was that this had been delayed by a year,” he said. “There’ll be challenge and opposition whatever decision we take.”
It comes as reports suggested that residents near Heathrow are in line for “world class” compensation packages.

4 thoughts on “Chris Grayling is set to signal an appetite for new runways at UK regional airports this week

  • October 24, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Have this Government got s..t for brains they are going to have a meeting tomorrow about building a new runway while we have the second longest runway sat doing nothing for the last two years at MANSTON just to let you know it is in KENT
    Mr Busby

  • October 25, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Does Chris Grayling know how much his department is paying the owners of Manston who are laughing all the way to the bank while us the public pay for a lorry park that will never be used
    Mr Busby

  • October 28, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    It would be criminal and utter madness to not use Manston airport as an airport. There would be no need for compulsory purchase of property, the runway is already there, and even if another runway is built at Heathrow or Gatwick, extra runways will still be needed for our expansion of foreign trade after Brexit.

  • October 30, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    How much would it cost to reopen Manston Airport?I should have thought the 3.5million used for Opperation Stack would have gone someway towards that reopening. I think 3.5 million a disgusting waste of taxpayers money and it has crossed my mind that the money has been paid to SHP as a retainer fee while the fight for Manston goes on.

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