London’s Heathrow Airport has claimed the tacit support of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in its campaign to secure new runways.
Although a new statement from the country’s largest business organisation is careful not to pre-empt the Davies Commission’s report into southeast aviation, it states, nevertheless: “The UK must prioritise a single hub airport with spare capacity to support trade”.
Such a single, larger hub airport where passengers could transfer to a range of destinations was “critical” to the UK’s long-term economic growth, said the CBI.
The CBI added that the UK was already losing out to European rivals on direct flights to emerging markets.
“There can be no more excuses,” said CBI Deputy Director General Katja Hall.
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow airport, said: “This recommendation by the CBI essentially shows that British business is backing Heathrow as the UK’s only hub airport to connect the country to global growth.”
The Commission is expected to announce soon whether it will add the Thames estuary scheme, backed by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, to the shortlist for airport expansion which at the moment consists of expansions to Heathrow and Gatwick.
The UK business visits sector, meanwhile, has consistently grown throughout 2014 and has been a key contributor to the visitor economy and a VisitBritain International Passenger Survey (IPS) based on data on travelling passengers in and out of UK transport hubs, showed that business visits were up six per cent on 2013, setting a new June record.
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