28 MAY 2018
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Transport secretary Chris Grayling last week challenged the aviation industry to develop solutions for Heathrow expansion that provide value for money and benefit passengers.
The speech was immediately welcomed by International Airlines Group (IAG) chief executive Willie Walsh, a vociferous critic of airport charges.
Grayling said he was setting the standards for how Heathrow should collaborate with airlines on the costs and design of a third runway and reinforced his commitment to ensuring passengers’ interests were at the heart of the expansion.
“It’s important airport expansion works for consumers and I want the interests of current and future airport users to shape the plans,” he said. “It remains one of my fundamental priorities to keep airport charges as close as possible to current levels.”
Walsh said the challenge to keep expansion costs low and provide value-for-money for consumers “could not be more stark”.
He added: “Chris Grayling understands Britain needs cost-effective infrastructure to survive and thrive post-Brexit. Heathrow is a monopoly with a history of gold-plating facilities and very high airport charges. It is imperative Heathrow provides a full, detailed cost breakdown for expansion before parliament votes on it this summer.
“Unless [Grayling’s] statement is pinned down in the National Policy Statement, Heathrow will ignore him.”
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