West London Business, the voice of 100,000 businesses making up the UK’s second largest economic powerhouse, has today welcomed the Government’s choice for Heathrow expansion. The Government’s decision follows the unanimous and unambiguous recommendation of the Airports Commission last summer after a two and a half year, £20m study. The Commission confirmed that expanding Heathrow would have the biggest economic benefits for the UK and can be done while reducing noise for local communities and in accordance with EU air quality law.
Heathrow confirmed today it will begin work to deliver the new runway that will connect all of Britain to the world, bringing new jobs and economic growth to every nation and region. When it opens in 2025, new airport hub capacity will allow up to 40 more long haul destinations, such as Wuhan, Osaka and Quito, making Britain the best connected country in the world. It will increase the number of domestic routes served, ensuring every region and nation of the UK can get to global markets and increase cargo capacity, supporting Britain’s exporters.
Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive of West London Business, said:
“This is a milestone announcement for West London’s economy and the wider UK for which we have waited a long time. The expansion will unlock significant investment and sends a clear signal as we prepare for Brexit that West London, the UK’s second largest economic powerhouse, remains open for business.
“As we seek to grow UK exports we should remember that 95% of Heathrow’s freight travels in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft, making Heathrow Britain’s largest port by value. In 2015, Heathrow handled imports and exports valued at over £130bn, making up over 30% of total UK trade and more than the UK’s two biggest shipping ports – Felixstowe and Southampton – combined.”
“We look forward to working with Heathrow and our local communities to ensure that the third runway is delivered quickly, that the local employment benefits are realised and environmental impacts managed.”
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, said:
“Today, the team at Heathrow start the important work to deliver the vital new runway that the UK needs to compete in the world. A new runway will open trade routes and create jobs up and down the UK. Heathrow will play a key role in making our country stronger and fairer for everyone.
“We look forward to working with Government, businesses, airlines, the CAA and our local communities to deliver an airport that is fair, affordable and secures the benefits of expansion for the whole of the UK.”