CBI head backs third runway for Heathrow

Sir Mike Rake, the new president of the CBI, has said that building a third runway at Heathrow is a “no-brainer” and that the Government should get on with increasing aviation capacity immediately.

In a wide ranging interview, Sir Mike said politicians had spent too long talking about new runways but had failed to take any decisions.

tcp100: No mention above of Rake's airline connention.  Until March this year Rake was the Chairman of Easyjet.  The last set of Easyjet annual accounts show him as a shareholder.

mikekent: There is not the infrastructure to support what already exists. Try getting in for the 0630 flight. No public transport, Traffic jams even at that time, parking miles away from the airport at a high cost often as much as the flight, and don't even mention the M25… Even when the public transport starts, the Piccadilly tube line is chaotic and jam packed with suitcases. Apart from flying on business when I can get financial relief (taxi, hire car, paid for parking) I would only ever consider Heathrow if the end of the world was nigh! Increase capacity elsewhere and reorganise the air traffic type that can land there - Heathrow = Business, Tourist and holiday flights = other airports.

Bob Evans: Heathrow has the best road & rail infrastructure in the UK. Sure it gets busy at peaks you will always get that with a major airport The first Picadiily line train to Heathrow is at 4,49am and the first Heathrow Express train is at 5.10am Cross rail is going into Heathrow as well as a new railink to provide direct trains from South Wales & South West

mikekent: I live in Kent and the first train gets me into London at 0630 hours at a cost of £62 return. than I would need to get to Heathrow. I don't know how this applies to others who live outside London in different regions. I am hoping that Kent International expands soon.

billypilgrim59: Its no good if you live north of London. Build it at Birmingham and then most of the country is within a short drive. It may surprise you but people don't live in the centre of London

terryosser: what if you are not near Piccadilly line

JByrne24: “Despite the fact I live near there, I think we should have started a third runway several years ago…" He lives "there"?   In or near Hounslow? I doubt it very much!

tonydartford: The CBI backs third runway they also back the EU which is now proved to be a burden. Who can take them seriously?

oldwease: Since the CBI are hopelessly wrong about practically everything, you'd think they'd want to keep quiet about this.

amanagawa: Mike Rake is, at the very least, being dishonest about one aspect of the third runway. He says it's necessary "Despite the fact I live near there". Last I heard he lives at Hambledon, near Godalming in Surrey (assuming that it's not the Hambledon in Hampshire). Either way, it's far enough from Heathrow Airport for him not to be bothered by aircraft noise. So, perhaps he ought to really experience Heathrow's noise, before he opens his big mouth! If you're going to support a third runway, that's fine, but don't try to make people believe that you'll be suffering along with the rest of us. You won't get more noise and you definitely won't be having your property blighted because of the uncertainty as to where the runway will be sited. Or have I misunderstood you. Of course I stand to be corrected, if you've the balls to do so! We all know your position (and that of most people involved in decisions regarding Heathrow), It's "Grin And Bear It" - that is, "We Grin And You Bear It!

Mike Barnes: Squillionaire businessman wants more cheap foreign labour shocker!

mikehoward: The CBI was a major cheer leader for the euro. Oh dear, we certainly missed out on the success of that one. More narrow sectional self interest instead of the national benefit. Go for Boris Island.

Jonathan Burkitt: I still support Lord Fosters plan of building an airport on the Isle of Grain, as it offers lots of short and long term benefits for the UK.   I admit the cost is the biggest downside, but I believe much of it could be sourced from private financing.   Benefits: ->Does not blight half of London with noise pollution ->Reduces air pollution over London ->Offers 4 runways (so we don't repeat this predicament again) ->An airport that can operate 24/7 (unlike Heathrow) ->Build a new Thames barrier (we will need one anyway in the future) ->Use the barrier to generate renewable energy for the city ->A new super transport hub, a design fit for 21st century ->New opportunities for business being close to both a hub airport and the new giant London Gateway port And more. -> Does not require destroying 700+ homes like Heathrow  I understand this is the challenging option, but the easy option is not always the right one.   Heathrow  will give a 15-20% increase in the number of people disturbed by noise pollution.  Without a doubt Heathrow will eventually need a fourth runway, putting us back in this same predicament, and cause even more disturbance to London. When consider the cost of one runway at Heathrow will be £17-18bn or around £34-36bn for two, then really £60-80bn for a 4 runway airport, with new power generating Thames barrier and new transport infrastructure is not that bad. So yes I do think the Isle of Grain is the solution for our airport capacity needs. Feel free to disagree.

flangini110: First and foremost we need more air capacity ASAP!!. That means Heathrow and Gatwick and Stansted. 2nd, the cost. Isle of Grain or Boris island start at £40 billion, START at £40 billion. There is no infrastructure there and it would not be operational before 2030, even if it started in 2015 which it won't.  No government will bear the cost so which country do you wish to own the site?  The UK needs more capacity now! We cannot afford to wait for Never never land.

amanagawa: Live near the airport, do you? Property blighted by uncertainty over third runway siting, is it? Badly affected by noise, are you? Taken in by Rake's assurance that he lives locally, are you? Maybe you're easily deluded by the scaremongering, much of which emanates from the people at Heathrow. Of course Heathrow want their airport expanded, so as to make more money - it's as simple as that. But you didn't honestly think their primary motive was national prestige, did you? If you did, you're a fool! I'm truly sorry for the bluntness and any offence caused by my reply, but the Runway 3 project is yet another of Heathrow Airport's exercises in spin, disinformation and downright dishonesty. Why do I believe this to be so? Well, one of the proposals is for the runway to be built on what is presently the village of Stanwell Moor. However, I have known people who used to work at the airport over 25 years ago and am assured that plans were even then being considered (and which they had seen) that effectively eliminated this village. Matthews (at Heathrow) and Rake are two of a kind. I believe they are what Sir John Major would possibly have referred to as "disingenuous bastards".

Jonathan Burkitt: I agree we needed the extra air capacity yesterday, never mind years from now. Though you do know that Heathrow's preferred option would not be built until 2026 and its next best option 2029.  The British successfully designed and delivered a brand new island airport in 8 years for Hong Kong.  I am sure if we were able to deliver such a project in the 1990's we can do it today.   We need to stop patching up the Heathrow, and design an airport for the needs of the future. "Which country do you wish to own the site" Heathrow is already owned by foreign governments and pension schemes, what is the difference.  If one British company invests in the Grain island project, we would have more British ownership than we do of Heathrow.

WrinklyOldGit: Before Sir Mike Rake, the new president of the CBI, makes any statement on the third runway for Heathrow, he should have the courtesy to state categorically that he has no financial vested interest in the third runway, nor is he making his preference for the third runway in support of business friends or colleagues with a vested interest.

anthony_: I must take issue with his comment about skill shortages and immigration. Skill shortages, in most cases, is caused by not paying enough or training enough young people. The low pay is attractive to non-EU immigrants because it comes with entitlements to free education, healthcare, and benefits for the family, subsidised by taxpayers. If you set the bar at, say, £50,000 earnings for a work visa - or if the employer had to pay an additional £10,000 tax per year per visa, then we might hear rather less about the need to import people.

chris_xxxx:  The CBI speaks for BIG business. They LOVE cheap immigrant labour.

pjwise: Quite right Sir Mike otherwise how  on earth are we going to allow into this country the vast quantity of Romanians and Bulgarians , additional of course to all the other immigrants arriving , in a speedy and efficient manner.  I must point out that if I was an immigrant heading to the UK. I would expect a new runway to facilitate easy access.  Now if you were advocating a runway which only operates one way ie. out going  , then I would send a  small cheque to help in the building of its construction providing of course you employ only English construction workers  I await your letter of response but  please hurry as this Government is about to flog Royal Mail to anyone with a few bob, so I would like to know that there is some chance of your letter arriving before this happens. PS    I hope your feeling well and not in need of a. medical operation as the Government is now going to sell of Plasma Resources UK to a foreign business who's prime object will of course be profit and not health care, so it appears we cant even run our own bleeding business any longer.