George Freeman calls on Government to back proposals similar to the Heathrow hub proposal for airport expansion around the country

5th June 2018

George Freeman congratulates the Government on making a decision on Heathrow airport but regrets the rejection of the Heathrow hub proposal and calls on the Government to encourage such a proposal for other airports around the country. 

I congratulate Ministers on finally making a tough decision that puts the national interest, prosperity and business confidence ahead of politics—an approach that I hope will apply in our other big decisions. I echo the views of the former Secretaries of State, my right hon. Friends the Members for Derbyshire Dales (Sir Patrick McLoughlin) and for Putney (Justine Greening), on the importance of cost control. Does the Secretary of State agree that the Heathrow hub proposal, which would extend over the M25 and be cheaper, quieter, quicker and less environmentally damaging, has much to commend it, both at Heathrow, where it was rejected by shareholders who perversely will make more money from a more expensive scheme, as well as at other airports around the country? Would he encourage such a proposal for other airports?

A lot of innovation went into the Heathrow hub proposal, and we considered it very carefully when we reached our initial recommendation. There were a number of drawbacks to it. For example, it would give much less respite for people around the airport by operating in the way that was proposed. However, I have no doubt that its promoters, who are smart people and who have developed some innovative ideas, will be using those ideas to encourage change in other places around the world and hopefully building an international business for themselves.

Hansard

George Freeman MP speaking in the House of Commons on Heathrow expansion

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