Heathrow Airport is a 'second tier' hub in absence of third runway, says BAA chairman

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London, Sept 27 (ANI): BBA Chairman, Sir Nigel Rudd, has admitted for the first time that Heathrow has become a "second tier" world airport following the Government's decision not to grant a third runway to the UK's busiest airport.

According to The Telegraph, the airport chief said that this decision, one of the first made by the coalition Government after it came to power in May, has made UK "less competitive" compared to the rest of the European countries.

He further added that the major investors in BAA, Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), did not understand the decision.

"Heathrow is full. I am a strong believer in democracy, and the Government has been elected on the basis that there is no third runway. The question I want answering is, if there is going to be no third runway, and no more in the South East of England, how does the nation cope with the fact that we're going to receive an ever decreasing share of international passengers as all the other major international airports are expanding?" Rudd asked.

He further raised concern that Heathrow's major airlines, which include British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, would be unable to increase the number of international destinations because of the restrictions

"As a result, we're becoming less competitive. Even if we continue to make operational improvements, Heathrow will still be a world class but second tier airport I'm afraid," he added.

Sir Nigel's comments were backed by British Airways, which said a third runway would have "very substantial economic benefits for the whole of the UK".

Earlier this year, British airline magnate, Sir Richard Branson, said the absence of a third runway meant it was impossible to compete with companies such as BA as Heathrow was effectively "full". (ANI)

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