Airport unveils expansion

Scottish ministers under pressure over Heathrow plans


Heathrow has unveiled its plans


Scottish government ministers are under pressure to respond to the latest announcement on Heathrow Airport’s expansion plans.

The proposals, now open to public consultation until 13 September, include a staggered approach with the new runway to be built in the first phase by 2026, with the rest of the airport infrastructure – including new terminals and access – to be complete by around 2050.

The Scottish Government was initially supportive of Heathrow expansion following pledges of knock-on benefits around the rest of the UK, not least in construction work and new connections.

However, the Holyrood administration’s commitments to curbing carbon emissions has seen it reverse a policy of tax support to Scottish airports amid speculation that it will not back Heathrow’s latest plans.

Murdo Fraser for the Scottish Tories said Scottish ministers should back the plans as they would help with connectivity and stimulate the economy.

Lib Dems’ Alistair Carmichael was less supportive. He said they did not object to expansion, but said it had to be “controlled” and that the “hub” idea was outdated. He called for greater emphasis in expanding direct flights for the regions.

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