Why Heathrow?
Why Heathrow?

Why Heathrow is the best location

The centre of economic gravity is to the west of London. 120 of the UK’s top 300 company HQs are within a 15 mile radius of Heathrow, compared to just 16 within 15 miles of Gatwick.


The Thames Valley has 60% more international businesses than the national UK average, 100% more US businesses and 260% more Japanese businesses. More businesses are located closer to Heathrow as they recognise the greater long-haul connections and surface access it has – making it easier for them to do business around the globe.

Although it has developed incrementally and organically, the area around Heathrow is Europe’s foremost ‘airport city’. Businesses have chosen to position themselves around the world’s most successful international hub airport.

These include geographic concentrations of inter-connected sectors, companies and institutions, known as clusters.

Many of these are in industries identified as relying on air travel and exports, including business services, IT, research and development, and pharmaceuticals.

These clusters are the engines of the Thames Valley and West London economies. London, Heathrow and these specialised clusters have grown together over the past 50 years.

Best placed for transport

More transport options and resilence exist around Heathrow then any other UK airport, and this is set to increase through a number of planned upgrades. By 2032, Heathrow will be accessible by


  • Road: M4, M25, A4, M3
  • Rail: Piccadilly Line, Crossrail, Heathrow Express, Western Rail Access, Sourthern Rail Access, High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) via Old Oak Common
  • Bus: An expanded Heathrow bus and coach station – currently the largest in the UK.
Source: Best Placed For Britain (Heathrow, 2014), Taking Britain Further, Volume 1 (Heathrow, 2015)

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