Ulster Unionist MP for South Antrim and Member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Danny Kinahan, today challenged the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, to guarantee that a decision for the approval of a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick Airports be made within the current calendar year.
Having received no guarantee of a decision in 2016 from the Transport Secretary, Mr. Kinahan commented:
“Dublin Airport is already committed to completing a second runway by 2020. Continuing to delay decisions on where the new runway for London will be built only negatively impacts on the growth of regions such as Northern Ireland.”
“That the Department for Transport continues to refuse to make a decision on this matter is disgraceful. At a time when the UK economy is unsure of the future, the financial benefits of making a decision, both short term to the construction industry and long term through improved tourism and business connectivity, are obvious.
“I recently welcomed the Transport Secretary recently to Belfast, where we met with a number of representatives from a range of local organisations. It was made clear to the Minister at this meeting, by all those present, that allowing the work to commence on a new runway was absolutely vital to both the UK and, more specifically, the Northern Irish economy.
“It is my intention to arrange an early meeting with the next Prime Minister to ensure this issue is placed at the top of his or her agenda.”