Business leaders have described Parliament’s approval of the third runway at Heathrow Airport as “historic,” to increasing access to “new and emerging markets.”
Both the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) believe the decision to expand the country’s aviation capacity is ‘vital’ for businesses who want to access markets and partners outside of the country.
The NIC has long since called for urgent action on the Heathrow runway project and after the government approved the scheme, Parliament followed suit with 415 MPs voting for the third runway at the UK’s busiest airport and 119 against – a majority of 296.
Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the NIC, is pleased that such a “crucial hurdle” has now been cleared.
He said: “This country’s busiest airports have been stretched to their limits for years – action is long overdue to ensure we can get people from A to B easier and increase routes into new and emerging markets.
“Today’s decision has been years in the making and so I hope Ministers now move quickly to maintain the momentum now that this crucial hurdle has been cleared.”
With Brexit on the horizon – which itself has cleared a hurdle of its own – business leaders know the importance of the UK’s airports having enough capacity to allow firms to move their goods and services around the world.
And CBI, a key representative of business leaders, believe increased connections will be needed.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said: “Parliament’s approval to build the new runway at Heathrow will lift prosperity across the country, and has long been seen as vital for firms, especially exporters.
“The race for global competitiveness is well underway and the UK must now be quick off the mark – work on the new runway should start as soon as possible. The prize is tens of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of growth for the British economy.
“As the UK forges a new path to trade, we must also make the best use of existing runways in regions across the country. A truly global Britain will need increased connections and routes from the whole of the UK, now and for the future.”