Why a new runway is essential for
the UK's future prosperity
We know a new runway will help deliver the trade growth the UK needs...
Since 2013 UK net trade has dragged on GDP growth. Current projections indicate export volumes will be roughly £300m off the Government's £1 trillion export target by 2020.
Boosting direct flights are crucial if we are to boost exports – particularly to the high growth markets of tomorrow. Independent research conducted by Steer Davies Gleave for the CBI demonstrates the link between flights and trade.
The UK would gain as much as £1bn a year in annual trade from just 8 new routes to emerging markets alone.
While 85% and 84% of firms are happy with connectivity to our established trading partners in the EU and North America, just 45% are satisfied with our connectivity to emerging markets.
The evidence suggests that these flights are most likely to come from a hub airport. By drawing on transfer passengers, the evidence shows that hub airports serve on average three times as many emerging market destinations as non-hubs, with twice the frequency.
The benefits of a new runway go far beyond trade figures – this will boost jobs and growth right across the United Kingdom.
It will create jobs in Britain's growing exporters – from Lands’ End to John O’Groats. 41% of all firms across the UK in the CBI-AECOM 2015 Infrastructure Survey say the debate on south-east airport capacity is impacting their investment decisions – because this isn’t simply a London story, it’s a UK jobs story.
A runway will also lay the foundations for the skilled workforce of the future, supporting up to 5,000 additional apprenticeships.
With more than half of employers suffering or expecting to suffer a shortage of experienced staff with skills in STEM subjects, this decision will provide tomorrow’s electricians, engineers and mechanics.
Finally, wherever a runway is built, it will create thousands of skilled jobs in the construction industry and its supply chains in the UK – leaving a legacy of British construction excellence well into the future. The Airports Commission estimate that a new runway in the South East could create up to 94,900 manufacturing jobs.
Runway capacity is the classic "not in my generation" issue. The longer we delay, the greater the cost borne by future generations.
Runway capacity in the South East is reaching tipping point – we could be at maximum capacity by 2025 at the earliest, and domestic routes have suffered. Heathrow served 18 UK routes. Today it is just 7 routes.
Meanwhile, our limited hub capacity is constraining links to emerging markets which our competitors are gaining in the global race for connectivity. Figures show that the UK has been relegated to 4th or 5th position in the EU for new routes to China, Brazil and Russia in the last 20 years. This comes at a real cost to the UK.