Breaking: Heathrow THIRD runway is preferred option of Government

Posted: 25 Oct 2016

A THIRD runway at Heathrow is the preferred option of the Government when it comes to expansion of airport provision for Great Britain.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling made the announcement, with the option trumping that of Gatwick and a second runway expansion at the West London hub, already Britain's premier port.

He said it was a clear message post Brexit vote that Britain was open to business globally, supporting resurgent exports.

It will be greeted with luke warm optimism in the north, and while it may offer regional airport link-up opportunities, it beats the lengthy M25 haul for those travelling on business, or the complications of crossing the whole of London by rail.

Paul Drechsler CBE, CBI president, said: “The Prime Minister’s green light to expand the UK’s aviation capacity comes as an enormous relief to firms in every corner of the country.

“A new runway at Heathrow is really fantastic news, especially as the country has waited nearly 50 years for this decision. It will create the air links that will do so much to drive jobs and unlock growth across the UK, allowing even more of our innovative, ambitious and internationally focussed firms, from Bristol to Belfast, to take off and break into new markets.

“With contracts to tender for, apprentices to recruit and supply chains to build, this decision must be taken forward swiftly, giving businesses the confidence to invest. Our aviation capacity is set to run out as early as 2025, so it’s crucial we get spades in the ground as soon as possible to reap the benefits for jobs and growth, precisely when the country needs them most.

“This project should form part of a long-term framework for aviation capacity for the whole of the UK. Pressing ahead with key infrastructure projects like this will provide not only a welcome economic stimulus, but will show the world that we are well and truly open for business as we negotiate our exit from the EU.”

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Responding to Mr Grayling's statement on the Heathrow Airport decision, Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “FSB agrees with the Government's clear decision on the third new runway for Heathrow, which will help to boost international trade and create jobs. This could create up to £211 billion of extra economic growth, 180,000 jobs and double the apprenticeships at Heathrow to a total of 10,000. We now need to see budgets committed and shovels in the ground as soon as possible.

“We are also pleased to see the Government focus on the importance of new domestic routes to increase regional connectivity, including the six new regional routes. We we will be working with Government and Heathrow to ensure maximum regional connectivity to support small businesses throughout the UK.

“FSB is keen to ensure our members and small businesses can capitalise on the procurement opportunities that the expansion of Heathrow will provide. We will continue to work closely with Heathrow to guarantee small firms will play a major part in the huge £16 billion procurement exercise to build the runway and associated works.

“At a time when FSB’s latest small business confidence index shows 62 per cent of small firms view the domestic economy as a barrier to growth, there is no better signal Britain is open for business than today's decision."

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