A WARNING was made today about the need to safeguard flights between Aberdeen and London’s Heathrow and end “uncertainty” over airport expansion plans.
Business and political leaders have expressed their “deep disappointment” after the UK Government deferred a decision on additional runway capacity in the south east of England until at least next summer.
A letter to the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “Together we have a critical interest in the continued economic development and success of the North-east of Scotland.
“This need can only currently be met in the UK by the network of air services available through Heathrow and by a sustainable schedule of domestic connecting flights from Aberdeen to Heathrow.”
There are worries slots for UK regional services into Heathrow and Gatwick airports will be lost to more lucrative long-haul services.
The letter’s signatories include Aberdeen International Airport boss Carol Benzie and Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive Robert Collier, as well as council leaders.
The Airport Commission has recommended the introduction of a third runway at Heathrow.
The Secretary of State for Transport said: “The case for aviation expansion is clear – but it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come.
“We will undertake more work on environmental impacts, including air quality, noise and carbon. We must develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people.”