Tory airport policies could threaten North East Airports

Geoff Hoon MPWednesday 25 March 2009

On the eve of a visit to the North East, Geoff Hoon MP, Labour’s Secretary of State for Transport has hit out at Tory policies which could further restrict air travel from airports in the North East.

The Conservatives are opposing plans to build a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport which will lead to further problems with a lack of capacity for landing slots.

Earlier this month, Tory Party Deputy Chairman Lord Bates questioned the viability of two international airports in the region whilst their Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague claimed to support local airports whilst still opposing expansion at Heathrow.

Geoff Hoon MP said; 

“The Tories’ policy on Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley airports and Heathrow is a mess. The Tories opposed the development of Heathrow and in doing so they failed to support the two North East airports.” 
“Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley airports, the region’s economy and holidaymakers suffer because of the lack of capacity at Heathrow.  Airlines have reduced services from the North East as competition for landing slots at Heathrow airport has increased”
“Increasing capacity at Heathrow - which the Government supports - will help important links to Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley Airports. The Tories position threatens the ability of the two north east airports to secure the landing slots they need.”