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Heathrow third runway debate rages on | 30 August 2012

Ministers of all persuasions have made their voices heard over a proposed expansion to Heathrow Airport over the last 48 hours.

The outbreaks come after a day of political infighting about whether Whitehall should reverse its decision not to expand Heathrow airport.

Cabinet ministers initially clashed over the issue after former environment minister Tim Yeo challenged prime minister David Cameron in a newspaper article.

Asking if he is a “man or a mouse”, Mr Yeo suggested Mr Cameron doesn’t possess the political vigour to take action. Other Tory backbenchers have since waded into the debate.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith claimed that voters in West London would punish the coalition government if they U-turned the decision, as they would be under the proposed flight paths for the new runway.

“We are well connected, and we have ample capacity. The problem is that we don’t use it well,” he said, blaming flights to countries that contribute little to Heathrow’s over overall connectivity, cites travelweekly.co.uk.

Scottish ministers meanwhile, say a third runway would be good for Scotland, bbc.co.uk reports. SNP MSP Chic Brodie called on the UK government to support more direct flights to and from Scottish airports.

“With Heathrow running at 94 per cent capacity, and Gatwick and Stansted also under pressure at peak times, the UK government must support airports around the UK attempting to encourage more direct flights to growing economies, such as China,” he said.

The economic boost to London could of course be significant, enabling the city to become a major global transport hub like Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Even constructing the runway and terminals could bring new prospects to businesses.

Labour ministers too are keen to reopen the debate. According to guardian.co.uk, shadow transport secretary, Maria Eagle, said: “While ministers fight amongst themselves, the paralysis at the heart of government on aviation is now adding to the paralysis in our economy.”

Written by Chris Taylor on behalf of Qube Global Software

While posted by Qube Global Software all views expressed are not necessarily those of the company. All facts are verified where possible directly by the author.

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