UK businesses echo FTA call for Heathrow third runway decision

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Northern runway at Heathrow Airport

UK business leaders have echoed the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) call for the UK government to make a decision regarding expanding Heathrow Airport.

Business leaders including the Confederation of British Industry president, Paul Drechsler says “decisive action” is needed and the government needs to “get on” and expand Heathrow Airport. In July this year, the government appointed Airports Commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies, released its report and concluded Heathrow Airport needs a third runway. So far the UK government has not formally responded to the Commission’s recommendations.

FTA director of global and European policy, Chris Welsh says: “FTA is once again calling on [the] government to make a decision as quickly as possible regarding the expansion of Heathrow. Despite the clear recommendation made four months ago in the Davies Commission Report for a third runway a government decision has yet to be made.”

The report published in July, often referred to as the Davies Commission, said a third runway at Heathrow would bring benefits of £147 billion ($223 billion) in economic growth over the next 60 years and create 70,000 new jobs by 2050.

The FTA is urging the government to make a quick decision. Welsh says: “It is clear that other business leaders recognise the urgency of expansion of the airport. Airfreight is essential to the future success of the UK economy, and additional capacity with a third runway is critical to allow imports and exporters to access new emerging markets in Asia, South America and the Indian sub-continent.”

The association says 95 per cent of air cargo is carried in the bellyhold of passenger aircraft and airfreight in the UK accounts for almost 40 per cent of the UK’s imports and exports by value.