Exactly a year since the Airports Commission unanimously recommended that Heathrow be allowed to expand, hundreds of local residents gathered to demonstrate their support for building a new runway at the UK’s only hub airport.
Organised by Back Heathrow, the event was held near the airport. Attendees were made up of local residents, families and supporters of Back Heathrow who were united in demanding that the next Prime Minister make an urgent decision on expansion following the Brexit vote.
The EU referendum result makes expansion at Heathrow even more important if the UK is to be a confident, outward-looking nation ready and able to connect with the whole world. At a time of economic uncertainty, the jobs, investment and 10,000 apprenticeships that will come from a new runway at Heathrow will be vital for the local area and the country as a whole. The government’s continued delay in making a decision is simply not sustainable: action is needed and it is needed now.
Speakers at the rally included John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Airport Chief Executive, Joe McGowan, Lead Aviation Officer for Unite the union and Barry Nelson-West, a local resident.
Joe McGowan said: “The benefits of expansion at Heathrow will be felt in every corner of the country. A new runway will deliver massive investment in skills, training and jobs, providing a huge boost to local communities which is a key reason why Unite is backing Heathrow to grow.”
Barry Nelson-West said: “Some say expansion is not what local people want. Well you do not speak for me, you do not speak for everyone here today, you do not speak for the 100,000 plus supporters of this campaign. And, you do not speak for local people. I’m local and I back Heathrow.”
It was a fantastic event and we thank everyone for attending. But as well as it being a great day out, the rally also demonstrated the huge amount of support for a new runway that exists in the communities near Heathrow.
The government’s continued delay in making a decision on Heathrow expansion is deeply disappointing and frustrating for all local residents. The next Prime Minister has to listen to residents, most of whom support expansion, and finally approve a new runway to allow local communities and the whole country to move forwards.