Businesses hail go-ahead for Heathrow expansion

UK business chiefs applauded the government’s decision to go ahead with construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Plane in flight
After a half-century of discussion of how to relieve pressure on SE England’s overcrowded airspace, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told the House of Commons that the Cabinet had decided to back expansion at the world’s busiest commercial airport.

Government’s decision will go before Parliament

The decision, however, will still have to be approved by parliament, probably in early July, and there is opposition both within the Conservative Party – not least by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who represents a constituency near Heathrow – and within the opposition Labour Party.Mr Grayling told MPs, “Today I am laying before Parliament our final proposal for an Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) which signals our commitment to securing global connectivity, creating tens of thousands of local jobs and apprenticeships, and boosting our economy for future generations by expanding Heathrow Airport.“My department has met with local residents and fully understands their strength of feeling, but this is a decision taken in the national interest and based on detailed evidence.“The time for action is now. Heathrow is already full and the evidence shows the remaining London airports won’t be far behind. Despite being the busiest two-runway airport in the world, Heathrow’s capacity constraints mean that it is falling behind its global competitors, impacting the UK’s economy and global trading opportunities.“Expansion at Heathrow will bring real benefits across the country including a boost of up to £74 billion to passengers and the wider economy. This is a project with benefits which reach far beyond London.”

Businesses reaction to the new runway plans

Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said, “It’s fantastic that the new runway at Heathrow is getting closer to take-off. All the more so as the United Kingdom has waited for nearly half a century for this decision.“Expanding our aviation capacity, and creating new flight routes to rapidly growing markets, is mission critical to ensuring Britain can compete on the post-Brexit world stage.“The new air links the runway will create will unlock growth and help create jobs at home, and enable more businesses – especially our many innovative and ambitious small and medium-sized ones – to export their goods and services to booming markets.“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. From Southampton to the Shetlands, firms in all parts of the UK will be looking to their MPs to approve the national policy statement, giving a timely vote of confidence in Global Britain’s future.”
Related stories:For more related news and features, visit our Enterprise section. 
Stephen Martin, director-general of the Institute of Directors, said, “Businesses will be delighted by the Cabinet’s decision to proceed with a new Heathrow runway. This gets us within touching distance of the end of a debate that has drawn out for far too long, holding us back at a time when we should be looking outward to become a truly global Britain.“Heathrow is the most-used airport for business travel among our members. The new runway will help the UK deliver on its ambition to be a hub for international commerce. We hope the government will continue to develop the infrastructure and connectivity firms need to expand on a global stage.“While the new runway is being built, we also need to make better use of capacity at existing airports in the South East and, indeed, the rest of the country. Competition between airports is good for customers and expansion at Heathrow will not on its own give the UK the connections it needs to fulfil its ambitions to trade across the world.”  Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said, “The message from business to parliament couldn’t be simpler: no more delays, no more excuses on Heathrow expansion.“Bold decisions are needed to demonstrate that Britain is open for business at a time of change and uncertainty.“A green light for Heathrow’s third runway will show international investors, our trading partners and our competitors that the United Kingdom is serious about being at the heart of the global economy. A vote to proceed with expansion is a signal to businesses here at home that Westminster is serious about fixing the fundamentals and supporting UK growth in every region of the country.”Miles Celic, chief executive of the London lobby group, TheCityUK, said, “Britain urgently needs increased airport capacity if it is to remain internationally competitive and an attractive place to do business.“This decision has been decades in the making and must not take decades to deliver. Getting it right will send a strong message to the rest of the world about Britain’s openness and ambition.“We urge all parties to support these plans and end the interminable political holding pattern which has delayed airport expansion for so long.”Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory 

Related Articles