LCCI comments on Airports Commission launch of national consultation on expansion options

Tuesday 11 November 2014

LCCI comments on Airports Commission launch of national consultation on expansion options

Commenting on the national public consultation announced today by the Airports Commission on options for airport expansion, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Colin Stanbridge said:

 "To remain globally competitive London needs access to the growth markets of Asia and South America. That requires reliable, frequent air links.

 "After a lengthy process we are glad to see the Airports Commission move towards its final stages with this national consultation on options to boost airport capacity and improve international connectivity.

 "London Chamber of Commerce has consistently said that to future-proof the UK economy both Heathrow and Gatwick should be allowed to build new runways - in a staggered approach.

 "Both are already great assets to Britain, but it makes sense to expand our functioning hub airport; Heathrow first. This is a view that is shared by London business - our ComRes poll in July this year found 54% of London businesses preferring Heathrow expansion with 30% looking to Gatwick.

 "However, any new runway, anywhere, will take around a decade to deliver. In the meantime, we must consider options to dramatically increase the capacity of the London airports system. 

 "Making best use of existing airports should be a political priority. There are a range of measures that could be set in train now to bring swift capacity gains:

-  At London Stansted, the local authority cap on passenger numbers could be lifted

-  At London City expanded infrastructure could cater for more business flights

"One important short term measure Ministers could enact at the stroke-of-a-pen that could boost the UK economy by up to £1billion a year* would be through making greater use of  early morning arrivals at Heathrow."

ENDS

Media contact:       
Jo Hooper, Press & Media Relations Manager
T: +44 (0)20 7203 1897                 
M: +44 (0)7827 241528
E: jhooper@londonchamber.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITOR:

  1. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
  2. Colin Stanbridge is available for further comment and interview.
  3. The Commission's research has found that a new runway at Heathrow would deliver £112-211billion in economic benefits (Airports Commission Consultation Document, Para 3.128). The research also found that a new runway at Heathrow would be likely to create 74,500 jobs by 2040
  4. The Commission's research has found that the Gatwick option could deliver economic benefits of £127billion (Airports Commission: Consultation Document, para 3.23). The research has found that the Gatwick option would be likely to create 17,700 jobs by 2040
  5. Taken from CBI report, page 3, 'Trading Places,' March 2013: "£1bn in potential new annual trade created by additional daily routes to eight high-growth markets alone."