2 JULY 2018


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Article from BTNews 2 JULY 2018

ON THE SOAPBOX: Nigel Milton - Heathrow director of communications

Parliament has now overwhelmingly backed expansion at Heathrow – what’s next?

Following last week’s massive overall vote in Parliament to give the go-ahead for Heathrow’s third runway Nigel Milton, the airport’s director of communications looks ahead. 

Nigel joined Heathrow from Virgin Atlantic in March 2010 where he had spent six years in the External Affairs department.  Prior to this he worked for the Department for Transport (DfT) where he had been assistant director for international aviation since October 2000. 

Previously Nigel was private secretary to the UK Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Transport, John Prescott, between 1998 and 2000.

Nigel has a law degree from Oxford University and a Masters degree in Transport Planning and Management from the University of Westminster.

Last week Parliament voted overwhelmingly to support expansion at Heathrow. This decision is a key moment in the history of British airport infrastructure and sends an important and confident signal to the world that Britain is open for business.

Parliament listened to and recognised the widespread support Heathrow expansion has from businesses across the UK, members of local communities, other airports and Chambers of Commerce up and down the country. And, MPs backed a project that will benefit all of Britain and help secure the UK’s future on the world stage for generations to come.

Since it open as a civilian airport in 1946, Heathrow has been a cornerstone of the UK economy. As we enter this new phase, expansion will unlock £14billion of private investment in British infrastructure so Heathrow can continue to support growth across the UK. And now we are getting on with the job of delivering expansion, meeting the commitments we have made. 

Over the next 12 months, we expect to create 900 new jobs and 200 apprenticeships at the airport. And to sign £150m worth of new contracts with businesses across our supply chain.

Next month, we will conclude a UK-wide tour of the long-listed sites for our four future logistics hubs, which will be required to expand the airport. Next year we will announce the final locations. These hubs, off-site centres for construction and manufacturing, will allow businesses across the country to get involved and reap the rewards of this major project. This revolutionary process has never been executed to such a scale in the UK and will help deliver expansion faster and more affordably.

The Heathrow Skills Taskforce, led by Lord David Blunkett, will deliver their final recommendations on how we can use expansion to ensure children in local schools are trained for the wide range of skilled jobs at an expanded Heathrow.

And, our Business Summits programme will continue with the locations for next year’s event being announced shortly.

All this will happen while we press ahead with Heathrow’s application for a Development Consent Order (DCO), which is required for nationally significant infrastructure projects. The DCO will dictate the planning framework for Heathrow expansion.

As part of this, we will continue to engage with local communities and authorities, airlines, statutory bodies and the Heathrow Community Engagement Board so we deliver expansion in a way that is affordable, financeable and sustainable.

In 2019, we will hold a further major consultation where we will take our plans to the local community and other key stakeholders. This will enable people to share their views on how we build an expanded Heathrow, so we can take them into account as we finalise the plans that will then be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for review.

Last Monday was a historic vote. To expand Heathrow will ensure that future generations of Britons can compete and win on the world stage. It will create billions in economic growth and thousands of jobs in every region and nation of the UK. And it will enable dozens of new long-haul trading routes and new domestic connections, while doubling cargo capacity at the airport – helping businesses across the UK reach out and trade with the world.

But, as we get on with delivering Heathrow expansion, it is going to be more important than ever to listen to our local community. We have set out a number of commitments to ensure that expansion is delivered in the fairest possible way and we will continue to work together to ensure we meet every single one.

The world is waiting. We’re excited to be getting on with the job.


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