The head of the UK’s largest airline by passenger numbers has weighed into the fierce debate on aviation policy after Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers last week scuppered hopes that the Government might be moderating its stance on allowing a third runway at Heathrow – Britain’s only hub airport.
Ms McCall told the Telegraph it was “striking” how other European governments supported their airports while the UK was stuck in a “circular” debate about aviation capacity.
“In Europe there is a stark contrast…there is no debate. In Amsterdam, the Government and airport is completely aligned about developing Schipol. In [Milan] Malpensa, they are continuing to grow. No one is debating ‘should there be more capacity and should we have another runway?’ There’s just a real focus on the fact that air passengers bring money into the economy and they are really important for growth.”
Speaking in Lisbon, where easyJet has launched its latest network base, Ms McCall said a second runway at either Gatwick or Stansted made the “most economic sense” in the medium term to solve the serious capacity problems in the South East.
“Theresa Villiers has closed the door to Heathrow again, which…..
By Nathalie Thomas, in Lisbon
4:39PM BST 24 Apr 2012
- Gatwick better under new owner, says ex-BAA chief (independent.co.uk)
- Theresa Villiers shuts door on third runway at Heathrow (telegraph.co.uk)