On the eve of the Airports Commission’s consultation on where Britain’s new runway should be located, Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, is setting out the case the airport will be making to the Commission over the next three months.
John Holland-Kaye will reiterate that he is not opposed to a new runway at Gatwick but that the West Sussex airport serves a different role:
“The Commission’s public consultation is about the future we want for our country. Heathrow is not opposed to another runway at Gatwick. We support the expansion ambitions of all airports. But if we have to choose, we need to understand that we offer very different futures. The choice is between a Britain with direct connections to the world or a Britain cut off from growth markets. If Britain is to remain at the heart of the global economy we need to expand Heathrow.”
In a speech today to the Airport Operators Association Annual conference John Holland-Kaye will set out three reasons why people should back Heathrow as the best choice for Britain.
1. Only Heathrow will connect Britain to long-haul global growth
Distant economies in Asia and the Americas are growing quickly, while traditional markets in Europe face a low growth future. Businesses all over Britain need new connections to the world’s fastest growing markets. Air China’s decision to pull out of Gatwick is the latest evidence that only Heathrow can deliver these long-haul routes.
“Hub airports deliver the new connections to emerging markets that we desperately need. With Heathrow full and the UK slipping behind in the race for new connectivity, it is essential that the Airports Commission delivers a solution that addresses the ticking time bomb of our lack of spare hub capacity.” – CBI
2. Only Heathrow will deliver the freight capacity Britain’s exporters need
The decision about airport expansion is about more than passengers. Heathrow is Britain’s most important freight port. It carries one-quarter of all UK exports – twice the amount of the UK’s two largest shipping container ports combined. Yet John Holland-Kaye revealed for the first time that Heathrow’s cargo capacity on routes to the Asia Pacific is already exhausted – running at 97% capacity. If we want to double British exports we need to expand Heathrow.
“It is imperative that we recognise the inherent advantages Heathrow has as a world-class, global air-freight hub and the unique benefits this brings, not just to the South East of England but to Britain as a whole.” – The Freight Transport Association
3. Only Heathrow will connect to every part of Britain
Every part of the UK needs access to global markets. An expanded Heathrow will have new rail links to the North, East, South and West. It will be easier for every part of Britain to access global markets and every part of Britain will be a more attractive location for inward investment. Heathrow is an airport for the whole country, not just for London and the South-East.
Twenty-three Chambers of Commerce from across the UK have said:
“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 six airports worldwide with more than 50 long haul routes. We need it to expand to continue to put on the flights that drive tourism and inward investment and connect our businesses to key markets in places like China, India, Brazil.”
An expanded Heathrow would create more than 120,000 new jobs, at least 50,000 of them outside greater London. It would also deliver more than £100 billion of economic benefits across the country. It can do this while reducing the number of people affected by aircraft noise compared to today.