New Heathrow Airport runway plans gain industry backing

New Heathrow Airport runway plans gain industry backingCalls for the government to give the green light to a planned third runway at Heathrow Airport have been stepped up, with unions and business leaders adding their thoughts to the debate.

Though opposed by environmental groups, the airport’s operator has argued that further expansion is necessary if it is to cope with ever-expanding passenger demand.

Now, the workers’ union Unite has warned that as many as 172,000 jobs could be lost should the proposals not go ahead, while a new series of newspaper adverts taken out by the Future Heathrow Group have warned that London’s “status as a global hub” is at risk.

Richard Lambert, head of the Confederation of British Industry, stated: "Heathrow is our gateway to the world and we need to ensure that it remains a world-class airport capable of serving the needs of a global economy."

Despite more than 50 members of the government being opposed the further expansion, it is expected that prime minister Gordon Brown will give the plans the go-ahead as early as this week, with proposals for a high-speed rail link to be built instead of an additional runway, likely to be put on the back-burner for the time being.

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