FTA urges government to back Heathrow expansion

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

FTA backs a third Heathrow runway
FTA backs a third Heathrow runway

Related tags: European union, United kingdom, Scotland, Uk, Fta

Building a third runway at Heathrow airport will become even more important after Brexit, argues the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

The FTA wrote to the government to press the importance of an expanded Heathrow on October 7. It said air freight accounted for 40% of the UK’s imports and exports, and that manufacturing industries and high-end retail relied on Heathrow.

The UK’s decision to leave the EU could mean its access to the Single Market of 500M customers is rescinded. The FTA said a third runway at Heathrow would keep the UK connected to new trade markets.

FTA director of global and european policy Chris Welsh said: “We have written to cabinet members urging them to follow the Airports Commission’s recommendation and support a third runway at Heathrow and have encouraged a decision be made sooner rather than later. 

‘Too much stalling’

“There has been too much stalling as to where and when the extra capacity for air freight is going to be. The referendum vote to leave the EU makes connectivity to new and emerging markets all the more pressing, and the argument for a third runway at Heathrow all the more compelling.”

The third runway would result in 70,000 new jobs by 2050, and £147bn in economic growth over the next 60 years, the Airports Commission found.

The FTA said the increased capacity at Heathrow would open the door to scores of global destinations outside of the EU, too.

‘Additional capacity is vital’

Welsh said: “Additional capacity is vital to meet growing demand for connectivity to emerging markets in Asia, the Indian sub-continent and South America. Access to these emerging markets will be even more important as we embark on a new future outside of the EU.

“Heathrow is the main hub airport in the UK, and it is full. The need for a third runway is obvious. So much economic activity relies upon air freight across the UK, it is critical to economic recovery that the nation can demonstrate it is open for business with a smooth and reliable journey from our international gateways.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish government has backed a third runway at Heathrow, after it found economic benefits for Scotland. Around £200M would be spent on construction in Scotland if the planned expansion goes ahead, and Prestwick Airport would be investigated as a potential logistics hub.

Heathrow expansion – at a glance

  • FTA calls for government backing of planned expansion
  • Third runway would create 70,000 jobs
  • FTA said runway would connect the UK to EU and global markets

Related topics: Supply Chain

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