SINCE the Government launched its consultation on expanding Heathrow, some have argued that a third runway could be avoided altogether by replacing short haul flights with high speed rail (£30bn rail rival for airport gets snubbed, Gazette, July 23).
BAA supports a high speed rail network because it would be great for Britain and for Heathrow. However the argument that a high speed rail line would avoid the need for a third runway is a red herring.
Even if all UK domestic passengers could switch to rail today then the 10 per cent of capacity theoretically freed up would be filled by other demand not currently being met.
But in fact such a network does not exist and will take decades to deliver.
Other countries are investing in high speed rail and new airport capacity and we should do the same.
High-speed rail could link Heathrow to the rest of the UK but only a third runway would link Britain to the rest of the world.
COLIN MATTHEWS, CEO, BAA Heathrow, Bath Road, Hayes.