Business community welcomes backing of third runway

The government's approval of a third runway at Heathrow has been met with relief by business leaders.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling says the ‘truly momentous’ decision of introducing a third runway at Heathrow would support trade and create jobs.

Dafydd Llewellyn, managing director for UK SMB & nationals at Concur says, ‘This is going to be a much-needed investment in UK infrastructure – an infrastructure that has been creaking for some time now. A third runway is especially good news for small and medium-sized companies which are trying to grow.

‘The decision is a win-win for businesses. In the short-term companies in and around Heathrow will profit, and in the longer term, the additional destinations will help businesses reach and connect with new audiences; vital for the UK to remain a key figure in the globalised economy. The bottom line is: businesses will benefit from this.’

The decision will be a shot in the arm for Britain’s construction industry and create thousands of jobs as the delivery phase begins, according to Vincent Clancy, CEO of construction consultancy Turner & Townsend. ‘But the long-term economic prize is likely to be the huge trade potential that will be unlocked by Heathrow’s extra capacity,’ Clancy says.

Paul Drechsler, president of the CBI says that, with contracts to tender for, apprentices to recruit and supply chains to build, this third runway 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.’

While the progress towards expanding Heathrow is welcome, airport expansion must not become a binary choice between two feuding airports, Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates believes.

‘London would benefit culturally and economically from airport expansion at both Heathrow and Gatwick, and the new government should have the courage to rise above politics and add runways to both.

‘It is time to put the needs of London and the UK ahead of short-term political concerns and make this investment. A global tech hub requires unrivalled international transport links, and London’s airport capacity has a long way to go to meet this target.’

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