Airport Expansion

Reports suggest that the (very) long running debate over how the Country should expand its airport capacity in the South East will finally end today when the government announces a decision on what will happen. To be fair to Theresa May having only been in post a few weeks she has been positively speedy on the issue compared to the years of consideration which has gone on before. Whenever the decision is made it was always likely to be controversial.

My concern is how the expansion of airport capacity at Heathrow or Gatwick will affect Manchester airport and how economy in and around Manchester and the wider North West. Whatever the government decide it will be years before any new runway is open for use. In the meantime I would like to see more being done to encourage airlines make use of Manchester airport which has plenty of spare capacity and has ambitious plans to expand its facilities over the coming years.

Arrived in Salt Lake City

Now feeling refreshed after several hours sleep it was a l..o..n..g day yesterday. Up at 4.45am ( in UK time ) not getting to bed until around 4am. Anyway all went to plan and we are checked in the hotel.

I have to say I was very impressed by the check in facilities at Manchester airport. Very swift and efficient.

There were no inordinate delays anywhere really. The longest was probably the security at Atlanta where we entered the USA and changed flights but it was no longer than anyone would expect these days.

There is a seven hour time difference here so although it is early afternoon in the UK things are just waking up here on what looks like a cold and misty Sunday morning.


A busy day dealing with a number of different issues. This morning I attended a briefing meeting with the senior management team from Manchester Airport Group (MAG) where we discussed a number of issues but principally matters arising out of the latest security alert at East Midlands airport last weekend. For those who may not be away East Midlands airport is part of the same group as Manchester airport.

I was in the Chamber for Prime Minister’s Questions and then during my lunch period I attended the Communion Service at St. Mary’s Undercroft in Westminster Hall. My next engagement was to meet a constituent in connection with the work of the Cancer Research Campaign (CRC). THe main thrust of the message was that if we are to improve cancer survival rates we must improve on early diagnosis.