Home London News Heathrow expansion set to take off – here's what experts have to say

Heathrow expansion set to take off – here's what experts have to say

25th Oct 16 11:48 am

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Prime Minister Theresa May approved plans to expand the UK’s aviation capacity this morning.

This means that Heathrow will get a new runway which is expected to boost growth in the UK.

Take a look at key reactions to the decision here:

Paul Drechsler CBE, CBI President, said:

“The Prime Minister’s green light to expand the UK’s aviation capacity comes as an enormous relief to firms in every corner of the country.

“A new runway at Heathrow is really fantastic news, especially as the country has waited nearly 50 years for this decision. It will create the air links that will do so much to drive jobs and unlock growth across the UK, allowing even more of our innovative, ambitious and internationally focussed firms, from Bristol to Belfast, to take off and break into new markets.

“With contracts to tender for, apprentices to recruit and supply chains to build, this decision must be taken forward swiftly, giving businesses the confidence to invest. Our aviation capacity is set to run out as early as 2025, so it’s crucial we get spades in the ground as soon as possible to reap the benefits for jobs and growth, precisely when the country needs them most.

“This project should form part of a long-term framework for aviation capacity for the whole of the UK. Pressing ahead with key infrastructure projects like this will provide not only a welcome economic stimulus, but will show the world that we are well and truly open for business as we negotiate our exit from the EU.”

Mark Boleat, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation said:

“The City welcomes today’s announcement on greater airport expansion for the country and a new runway for Heathrow. After much indecision over this critical element of the UK’s infrastructure, we finally have a positive outcome which will greatly benefit business. 


“What this also does is send a signal to our international trading partners that we are still an outward looking country, and very much open for business.


“This vital decision ties in well with our ongoing programmes of investment from Crossrail to HS2 and will deliver growth across London and the UK.”

Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Put simply, it’s about time. Successive governments have prevaricated for far too long in the face of a blindingly obvious need for more runway capacity. Businesses will now want assurances that the final approval process for Heathrow’s new runway will be smooth and swift, so that construction can begin as soon as possible.

“Westminster must not underestimate the impact that further delays would have on business confidence. The time for playing politics with our national connectivity is over.

“Building this runway will not only boost business confidence, it will also help firms access export opportunities, and attract investment from both UK and overseas businesses.

“For business communities around the rest of the UK, connectivity into an expanded Heathrow is critical, even as regional airports develop their own links to overseas business destinations. This new runway must be viewed as much about connecting the regions and nations to the world as it is about capacity for London and the South East. 

“While most business communities will celebrate Heathrow expansion, this cannot and must not be the only new runway to be built in Britain over the coming decades. One new runway is not enough to give the UK the aviation capacity it requires to trade the world successfully. Airports like Gatwick, Birmingham, Stansted, and others with growth aspirations should also get the chance to expand and grow in the future.”

Mike Cherry, National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said:

“Today’s reported decision on airport capacity is a welcome boost for British business, which could deliver up to £211bn of extra economic growth, 180,000 jobs and double the apprenticeships at Heathrow to a total of 10,000. We now need to see budgets committed and shovels in the ground as soon as possible.

“The green light for a major infrastructure project like this is essential to increasing exports, jobs and growth throughout the UK, with more long haul routes and double the capacity for freight. We have already worked closely with Heathrow to guarantee small firms will play a major part in the huge £16bn procurement exercise to build the runway and associated works.

“When the runway is built, FSB members will want to see promises for increased regional connectivity delivered, in addition to new routes to overseas destinations – boosting freight exports and connecting our world-beating businesses to new markets.

“At a time when FSB’s latest small business confidence index shows 62 per cent of small firms view the domestic economy as a barrier to growth, this is a clear signal Britain is open for business than today’s decision.”

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