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British business calls for Heathrow expansion

October 29, 2014 Airport No Comments Email Email

In an open letter to the Airports Commission published today, 23 Chambers of Commerce representing over 40,000 businesses from across the UK have outlined the unique benefits a stronger hub at Heathrow would bring to British business.

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As one of only 6 airports worldwide with more than 50 long haul routes, the Chambers recognise that only an expanded Heathrow is capable of keeping all of Britain at the heart of the global economy by continuing to put on the flights that drive tourism, inward investment and connect British business to the fast growing markets in Asia and South America.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“More and more people across the UK are recognising the critical role Heathrow plays in the success of the British economy. Business is telling the Commission that Heathrow is geographically in the best location, is the only airport that can deliver flights to the world’s growth markets and the only option that has exports front and centre of its expansion plans.

With over 25% of all British exports going through Heathrow, compared to only 4% at Gatwick, businesses up and down the country are making it clear that Heathrow is the only option that can help Britain with the race for growth.”

The Chambers called on businesses across the UK to support Heathrow during the Airports Commission’s national consultation or risk the UK falling behind European hub rivals.

Ensuring the whole of the UK is connected to growth is central to Heathrow’s proposals for expansion. The airport has established an independent National Connectivity Task Force, charged with developing concrete policy proposals and recommendations for improving regional access at an expanded Heathrow. Members include representatives of national airports, Chambers of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnerships, business people from around the UK and airlines. A final report from the Task Force is due before the end of 2014 and will inform on-going discussions with the Airports Commission on airport capacity expansion in the south east.

The full letter and signatories are copied below:

A successful aviation industry is vital for UK economic growth. We all support our local airports and want them to grow their route network and flourish. But Heathrow provides the UK with something different. Heathrow is our hub airport, and one of only 6 airports worldwide with more than 50 long haul routes. We need it to expand to continue to put on the flights that drive tourism, inward investment and connect our businesses to key markets in places like China, India, Brazil.

The Airports Commission process is the UK’s last chance to expand our hub airport. Our European rivals will be watching with interest to see if the UK wants to remain a country with major global links, or if we are happy to export that advantage, and the jobs and growth with it, to Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

As Chambers of Commerce across the UK we are also following this debate closely. The expansion of the UK’s only hub airport, Heathrow, will benefit my region and I will be making my voice heard in the Airports Commission national consultation.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce

Doncaster Chamber of Commerce

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce

Hounslow Chamber of Commerce

Inverness Chamber of Commerce

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce

Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

North East Chamber of Commerce

Plymouth Chamber of Commerce

South Wales Chamber of Commerce

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

West London Business

Windsor District Chamber of Commerce

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