Heathrow seeks talks over Airports Commission conditions

Heathrow seeks talks over Airports Commission conditions

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Heathrow wants talks with the government over conditions included by the Airports Commission as part of its backing for a third runway at the London hub.

The airport’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said Heathrow would have to consider the demand from the commission for an end to night flights and for a law prohibiting a fourth runway in future.

“We will work with the government to make sure we have a solution that can be delivered,” he said, adding: “I am not saying today that we will accept all the conditions that have been put down. Night flights and the fourth runway - we will have to assess those a little more carefully.”

Some of the difficulties with a ban on night flights, for example, arose from issues beyond Heathrow’s control, he said, such as the need to alter bilateral treaties governing access to the UK market.

Airlines can also be expected to argue against a night flight ban as this would make certain long-haul routes more problematic.

Holland-Kaye was confident that the recommendation from the three year inquiry to back Heathrow over Gatwick would lead to a third runway at the west London airport.

“There is a deal to be done here,” he said in a meeting hosted by the business lobby group London First, the Financial Times reported.

The government will indicate its preference for the location of a new runway in the southeast before Christmas - but will then launch a fresh consultation, according to Whitehall sources.

“The government is now carefully considering the evidence before making a decision and the secretary of state for transport plans to make a statement in the autumn to provide clear direction on the government’s plans,” the FT quoted a transport ministry official as saying.

“Further consultation will be required as part of decision-making process and to secure planning consents.”

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