Airlines UK has welcomed the appointment of new transport secretary Grant Shapps and urged him to push ahead with Heathrow’s third runway.

Shapps was among those named in new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet.

He was previously international development minister.

In a statement Airlines UK said: “We’re lucky that we’ve got another Secretary of State who buys into and supports the value of aviation. It’s too frequently been the poor relation of rail and this needs to change, and we need someone at the heart of it who will give aviation the attention it deserves.

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“Our priorities are fairly clear – crack on with R3 at Heathrow, the single biggest thing government could do to support UK connectivity, ensure aviation is ready for all Brexit scenarios, and cut through the general feeling within DFT that aviation is a sector that can manage itself, rather than one that needs and requests Govt leadership to maintain its world class international status.”

Shapps was formerly the Conservative co-party chairman until he resigned following allegations he ignored warnings about bullying.
He supported Remain in the Referendum, but has since said he is backing Brexit “as hard as you like”.
Airport Operators Association (AOA) chief executive Karen Dee said: “We look forward to working with the new transport secretary to enable sustainable UK aviation growth. This will be vital to ensuring the UK has the connectivity it needs to build on its success outside the EU.
“A vital part of the aviation strategy will be to work cross-government to deliver policies and innovation to reduce the sector’s environmental impact, from modernising the UK’s airspace to working with industry to create the first UK-based sustainable aviation fuels plant.”