To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to bring forward legislative proposals to give the Government power to ring-fence landing slots at Heathrow Airport to protect connections to regional airports as was proposed in the Airports (Amendment) Bill [HL] 2010-12.
10 March 2017
Under European Union regulations airport slot allocation in the UK is managed by a designated co-ordinator which is independent of the Government, the Civil Aviation Authority and other interested parties.
The Government will consider how all UK airports, including those in the South East, can best utilise their existing runways to allow the growth of both domestic and international connectivity as part of the new Aviation Strategy. This will be an ambitious programme of work, and we will be consulting widely throughout 2017, leading to publication of an Aviation Strategy White Paper at the end of 2018.
The draft Airports National Policy Statement, currently out for consultation, sets out that expansion at Heathrow would be an opportunity to not only strengthen the frequency of existing domestic routes, but also to develop new domestic connections, including to regions currently unserved. Government would expect Heathrow to add at least six more domestic routes by 2030 bringing the total to 14.