ONE of the principle winners in the wake of the Government's approval for Heathrow Expansion is the aviation industry and British Airways has been quick to record its approval.
Willie Walsh, BA's chief executive, said: "This is the right decision for jobs and investment in the UK. Heathrow is our national hub airport and Britain cannot succeed in a global economy without the capacity for excellent air links already built by our international competitors.
"The Government has imposed additional, tough environmental safeguards on the way the airport will operate and a new system for rigorous enforcement. "Heathrow will set new world standards for airport environmental performance.
"We are disappointed at the rejection of mixed-mode, which would have reduced Heathrow's vulnerability to delays, but very much welcome the proposal of a high-speed rail hub at Heathrow.
"The Government has reached a balanced decision in the long-term interests of the whole country. I hope people will respect it. We have had six years of public debate on a third runway.
"This process has also taken very seriously the idea of an alternative hub airport in the Thames Estuary. The judgement has been made that expansion at Heathrow - which will not cost taxpayers a penny - is by far the better course.
"No-one can say the decision on a third runway has been taken hastily or without proper evaluation or research.
"We have not been good at providing new transport infrastructure in this country. Many road and rail projects have been talked about for decades without implementation. This new runway will be the first at a major airport in southern England for more than 70 years.
"Other countries have moved well ahead of Britain in building infrastructure with the capacity to underpin future prosperity. This decision has given the UK the chance to start catching up.
"Let's put the debate behind us, show common purpose and create the environmentally sustainable, world-class hub airport that people in Britain deserve."