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Heathrow chief confident on runway decision

London Heathrow's chief executive believes the UK government is gearing up to decide in favour of a third runway at the airport.

During a speech in which he sought to rebuff concerns about the planning, environmental and cost issues that a new runway might entail, John Holland-Kaye today suggested that an "army" of government employees was drafting legislation to support the proposed expansion.

"We are the people who believe that we should reclaim Britain's position as the best connected country in the world from the French," says Holland-Kaye.

In a bid to counter the argument that the project would be too expensive, he asserts that "increasing competition and choice will give better value for passengers". He foresees this "more than offsetting" an increase in landing fees.

Addressing a parliamentary committee earlier today, the UK's transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I hope by the end of this summer we will have a location decision."

The 2008 planning act has made processes "much clearer", contends McLoughlin. He believes a new runway could be open by 2030.

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