Wed 1st Jul 2015
Airports Commission Report: Commitment to new runway must now be delivered
Commenting on the final report of the Airports Commission, which has backed a new runway at Heathrow, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), said:
“After three years of deliberation, businesses across the UK will be pleased that the Airports Commission has finally come to a clear recommendation. The Heathrow hub offers Northern Ireland businesses access to the British market and to a wide range of global destinations which are important for export growth, foreign direct investment and tourism.
“The new wave of firms investing in Northern Ireland are global companies with a global client base – they invest in areas that have convenient connections to colleagues and clients, as well as a low cost centre. To make the most out of any future decrease in Corporation Tax which will attract even more investment from firms like these, Northern Ireland requires better air connectivity to every continent of the globe.
“Export growth is also key to a thriving private sector. Northern Ireland businesses that already export and the export sectors that are growing (nanotech and pharmaceuticals sectors for example) predominantly get their products to market by air freight. Heathrow is the UK’s most important ports, exporting over a quarter of all UK exports by value.
“Therefore government cannot afford to delay airport expansion any further if it is serious about businesses from across the UK punching above its weight on the global stage. That means delivering a new runway at Heathrow now, and leaving the door open to subsequent expansion at Gatwick, Stansted and key regional airports as well.”