Home London News Expand Heathrow and watch British business take off

Expand Heathrow and watch British business take off

by LLB Editor
5th Nov 14 12:00 am

A new runway could bring £100bn of economic benefits to the UK

This article is brought to you by Heathrow

A whopping £36bn – that’s how much can be added to the UK economy if more companies started exporting.

In fact, businesses are 11% more likely to survive if they start exporting. According to UK Trade & Investment, businesses can see a 34% increase in productivity within their first year of exporting. That’s probably why the government is on a mission to double UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

So how can British businesses build relationships and take their brand to the world? The same way that all strong relationships are formed: through face to face interaction. In fact, research shows that direct flights to long-haul destinations build twenty times more trade with them. (After all, nobody enjoys a long-haul flight with three stopovers followed by an important business meeting.)

And so the question needs re-postulating: how can we facilitate the increase in long-haul flights we so urgently need? Increasing the capacity of our hub airport is the obvious answer. As the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) put it recently, “hub airports serve on average nearly three times as many destinations as point-to-point airports.”

Britain’s hub airport is the world-famous Heathrow. Famous because it carries 73 million passengers a year – that’s more than the population of the UK. But it’s not just the sheer amount of passenger traffic that makes Heathrow so important; the hub also carries £182bn of exports and imports every year. This includes more than a quarter of all UK exports (26%) and two thirds of all air freight. Heathrow’s infrastructure is built for international trade.

But it’s not just the British public relying on Heathrow’s freight capacity, or UK PLC depending on its 82 airlines for trading overseas – the 120 global companies that have made the M4 corridor home to their headquarters rely on Heathrow’s connections too.

Yet this reliance is dangerous. Because Heathrow is at full capacity. It simply cannot keep up with the rest of the world unless it is expanded. Staying ahead of the game and moving with the times is essential for every single business – as anyone will tell you. As our fragile economy begins to grow, we cannot risk falling behind. The CBI calls this risk a “ticking time bomb”, and it’s not wrong.

After years of boot strapping and cost cutting, British businesses are starting to slowly exhale. International prospects are beginning to present themselves, opportunity is knocking. But it won’t knock on our door forever. Unless we build a third runway at Heathrow it will knock on France’s door, on Germany’s door and on The Netherlands’ door. Why? Because all three countries have hub airports which they are expanding.

As well as 120,000 new jobs, building a runway at Heathrow will bring at least £100bn of economic benefits to the UK. Instead we’re losing £1.25bn in lost trade every single month. We owe British business more than this.

Do you support the Heathrow expansion? Join the #BuildingBritain debate on Twitter

This article is brought to you by Heathrow

Now read:

Leave a Comment


Sign up to our daily news alerts

[ms-form id=1]