Unite, Britain’s biggest aviation union, has welcomed Sir Howard Davies’ interim report on airport expansion but has warned that any move away from a single hub airport would damage Britain’s commercial standing and put aviation jobs at risk.
The Airports Commission has recommended there should be one runway built either at Gatwick or Heathrow and a further runway built after 2050. The commission did not shortlist proposals for expanding Stansted or Birmingham, but said there was likely to be a case for considering them for any second new runway by 2050.
The commission leaves out Boris Johnson's proposal of a new airport on an artificial island in the Thames Estuary and has not shortlisted the suggestion of an airport on the Isle of Grain, but will look at it in the first half of 2014. A final report is due by summer 2015.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “We welcome Sir Howard Davies’ positive approach to airport expansion but any option which involves a move away from a single hub airport would damage the UK’s competitive edge and hit aviation jobs. Losing a single hub airport would lead to global businesses reassessing their presence in the UK. Employers could relocate their European headquarters to other European nations like France and Germany which maintain single hub airports in Paris and Frankfurt.
“The Airports Commission has also made the wise decision to kick Boris Johnson’s hare-brained ideas into the long grass. We can now get on with the serious business of devising a workable plan for airport expansion to support jobs and the UK economy.”
Europe currently has four hub airports: Frankfurt; Charles de Gaulle in Paris; Amsterdam Schiphol; and London Heathrow.
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
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Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.