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Heathrow Airport's third runway: Construction industry reacts to landmark MP vote

Airport

UK MPs overwhelmingly backed a proposal to expand London’s Heathrow Airport, passing the motion with a majority of 296 votes.

A project that has been subject to controversy and shelved numerous times over the past two decades, the building of a third runway will unlock 100,000 jobs and generate a big economic injection, according to its proponents.

The Confederation of British Industry hailed the vote as “a truly historic decision that will open the doors to a new era in the UK's global trading relationships”.

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It was also welcomed by major players in the construction industry, including Turner & Townsend, a global consultancy firm specialising in the sector.

David Whysall, Managing Director of UK infrastructure at Turner & Townsend, commented: “The expansion will be the UK’s largest privately funded construction project, generating thousands of jobs and business opportunities nationwide, boosting passenger and cargo capacity, and forging new links around the world.

Whysall also says that the project has the potential to shake up and benefit the UK construction industry more widely.

He added: “It’s an opportunity to challenge the way we have delivered infrastructure in the past and forge a new sustainable industry model – one which provides a legacy of new skills in digital, manufacturing and off-site assembly, with expertise formed throughout the construction supply chain, and shows that the UK is a world leader in setting up and delivering major projects.

“It will act as a beacon for attracting and retaining talent in the sector at a time when we face an acute skills crisis.”

Other options for expanding London’s airport capacity which have been rejected include a second runway at Gatwick Airport and a new airport on the Thames Estuary, a project dubbed Boris Island after being championed by the current Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.  

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Construction Global Weekly