Britain’s biggest unions and Back Heathrow say: time to get on and build Heathrow's new runway

Speaking on the eve of the Appeal Court proceedings at the Royal Courts of Justice, Back Heathrow and trade unions have sent out a message that Heathrow expansion is not a choice between the environment and jobs – we can have both.

Parmjit Dhanda, Executive Director, Back Heathrow said: "Back Heathrow represents over 100,000 local people who want to see the jobs, apprenticeships and economic benefits of expansion, but not at any cost. We want to see a new runway delivered with tight regulations that will mitigate noise, protect air quality and cut carbon. That will be sealed in law.”

Peter Kavanagh, Unite London & Eastern Regional Secretary said: "Unite wants to see a new runway at Heathrow and the creation of up to 180,000 new jobs for our country. We are campaigning for quality new jobs alongside tough regulations to protect our environment. At Heathrow we can have both." 

Warren Kenny, GMB London Regional Secretary said: "GMB always fights in the interests of our members. We don't agree with everything that Heathrow does and we will continue to have robust discussions about the importance of good jobs paid above the London Living Wage. But we also know it’s in the interests of current and future GMB members to expand the airport. This is a crucial project for London and the whole UK. The courts need to recognise this."

Heathrow’s expansion has been approved by an independent Airport Commission, and by a majority of 296 MPs in the House of Commons last year.

In May the High Court threw out the original judicial review on all grounds. However, Hillingdon council and other local boroughs who brought the original action – Wandsworth, Richmond and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Plan B Earth, the Mayor of London, Heathrow Hub and an individual claimant are taking it to an appeal.

The use of taxpayers’ money continues to mount. Costs of £625,000 were recovered from the claimants following the failed judicial review. This is in addition to over £2m of expenditure in legal fees, PR costs and funding of local ‘anti- Heathrow’ groups over the last decade.