We fully support the government’s conclusion that Heathrow needs a new runway. It’s the right decision. But it needs to have the right price tag.To maximize the potential of the new capacity, Heathrow costs must become even more competitive and cost effective. The government’s desire to keep charges close to current levels cannot be compromised. In fact, the aim should be much more ambitious given the already high costs of doing business at Heathrow.The government’s objective to facilitate the expansion without hitting passengers in the pocket must also not be compromised. Passengers using the airport deserve value for money when they fly from Heathrow. Under no circumstances should travelers today be expected to pay for benefits that will only be enjoyed by those traveling after the runway becomes operational. A key component must be a close scrutiny of all costs associated with the new capacity, and how these are allocated to different stakeholders. For instance, the government should take separate responsibility for all surface access funding, for both road and rail.We are convinced that the new runway will be environmentally sustainable and look forward to a dialogue with stakeholders on how this can be achieved. But the new runway must not be so encumbered with draconian operational restrictions and costs on its use that its potential economic value is destroyed. That would short-change travelers and the UK economy.The next step needs a big community effort. Airlines, the airport, the regulator and the government must work very hard together to ensure the success of the new runway. Above all, that means keeping costs at competitive levels,
said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Date: 25 October 2016