First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones responds to Airports Commission report
2 Jul 2015 12:16 PM
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones has yesterday responded to the Airports Commission report on a proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport.
"From a Wales perspective we have a strong preference for the shortlisted Heathrow Airport expansion options over expansion of Gatwick Airport. Our preference is underpinned by a hard headed economic consideration of which of the shortlisted options can best support jobs, investment, and tourism in Wales.
"We recognise the strength of the existing hub at Heathrow, and its value to the UK and Welsh economy. Our relative proximity to Heathrow Airport is a part of our business and tourism proposition. International investors in particular take comfort from the fact that they are less than two hours away from a leading, global aviation hub. The strength of this proposition would be put at risk if the alternative option of expansion of Gatwick is pursued.
"British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (BAMC) and associated MRO facilities at St Athan have the ability to serve aircraft operating out of Heathrow. Given our reputation in the aerospace sector, we would consider there are opportunities for Welsh based suppliers to benefit from Heathrow Airport expansion. Finally, we have a good and established relationship with Heathrow Airport. For example, Cardiff Airport and Heathrow work well together in cases of emergency or adverse weather. Heathrow Airport expansion offers opportunities to build on this existing relationship.
"Gatwick is too far away from the vast part of the UK and its nations and regions to be a UK hub. For these reasons we consider that Heathrow Airport expansion rather than expansion of Gatwick would provide the better solution for Wales and in doing so will better serve to help rebalance the UK economy."