Could this be take-off for the Tees Valley’s growth plans?

Durham Tees Valley Airport.
Durham Tees Valley Airport.

Heathrow’s third runway could trigger take-off for the Tees Valley’s growth plans.

That was the prediction of jubilant airport and commerce chiefs after the Tees Valley got its own boost from London Heathrow’s third runway plans.

Heathrow’s announcement proposing that Durham Tees Valley will be one of six domestic routes added once the expansion is completed is welcome and we look forward to working with them and airline partners to explore this in the future

Steve Gill, chief executive of Durham Tees Valley Airport

The Government has recommended Heathrow as the preferred location for extra airport capacity in the south east. In another twist, Durham Tees Valley Airport was named by Heathrow as one of its destinations for six new domestic routes once the expansion is complete.

Steve Gill, chief executive of Durham Tees Valley Airport described it as a “welcome” development and added: “We look forward to working with them and airline partners to explore this in the future.”

He said: “Connectivity into the UK’s global hub is key to supporting economic growth of the regions and secured slots for regional services will ensure the economic benefit including inbound tourism are felt across the UK.”

North East England Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive James Ramsbotham said: “This long-awaited conclusion is a welcome one for North East England and the whole of the UK.

“As a Chamber representing 4,000 business members we have been staunch advocates of Heathrow expansion as the right option to ensure North East businesses continue to enjoy the access they need to markets around the world.

“We would now urge MPs to support this positive decision as the National Policy Statement is brought forward.

“We currently enjoy excellent connectivity to Heathrow via Newcastle International Airport and the potential for a new route to Durham Tees Valley is great news.”

A public consultation will be held on the impact of a third runway before the final decision is put to MPs for a vote in the winter of 2017/18.

A new runway could be operational by 2025. Announcing the decision, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The step that the Government is taking today is truly momentous.

“I am proud that after years of discussion and delay this Government is taking decisive action to secure the UK’s place in the global aviation market - securing jobs and business opportunities for the next decade and beyond.”

But Greenpeace has joined with four Tory local authorities, Windsor and Maidenhead, Richmond, Hillingdon and Wandsworth, in seeking to pursue legal action over the scheme, which they claim will be unlawful because of its environmental impacts