UK Business leaders call for a decision on Heathrow

In July 2015, the long-awaited final report from the Davies Commission concluded that Heathrow was the best option for expansion because of the economic benefits for the whole country, which included £147 billion in economic growth over the next 60 years and the creation of 70,000 new jobs by 2050.

In response to the report’s findings FTA urged Government to make a quick decision on airport expansion in the south east but as yet no announcement has been made.

In support of a third runway at Heathrow, and echoing FTA’s call for progress at the Airport, CBI president Paul Drechsler has said that “decisive action” is needed and that ministers should “get on” with it.

Chris Welsh – FTA Director of Global and European Policy said: “FTA is once again calling on Government to make a decision as quickly as possible regarding the expansion of Heathrow. Despite the clear recommendation made four months ago in the Davies Commission Report for a third runway a Government decision has yet to be made.

“It is clear that other business leaders recognise the urgency of expansion at the airport. Air freight is essential to the future success of the UK economy, and additional capacity with a third runway is critical to allow importers and exporters to access new emerging markets in Asia, South America and the Indian sub-continent. Heathrow is a world-class air cargo hub, and it is vital that is it able to expand to meet the demands of UK importers and exporters to enhance connectivity to emerging overseas markets.”

In 2014 FTA commissioned a report undertaken by York Aviation – focussing on the importance of air freight to the UK economy and airport capacity in the south east.

The findings of the report both confirmed Heathrow as a vital hub for air cargo and underlined that a failure to invest in new runway capacity would result in UK exporters and importers losing competitive edge to continental competitors with the real possibility of services transferring to airports on the continent.

95 per cent of air cargo is carried in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft; air freight accounts for nearly 40 per cent of UK imports and exports by value and employs 39,000 people, most clustered around Heathrow – the UK’s main airport hub. It is critical for important sectors such as pharmaceuticals, high-end manufacturing and retailers.

Heathrow has today disclosed exclusive UK Customs data, detailing the value and weight of British exports transported through the airport over the past three years – providing a barometer of business sector growth in the UK.