Tue 5th Jun 2018
NI Chamber welcomes Cabinet’s backing of Heathrow third runway
Commenting on today’s Heathrow announcement, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), said:
“Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes any expansion plans at airports which have relevance for Northern Ireland and boost the connectivity of the region with other areas in the UK and beyond.
“We are therefore delighted at the decision by cabinet ministers to approve plans for a third runway at Heathrow. Expansion of the facility is much needed especially as Heathrow is a key facilitator for trade, a point which will become increasingly important post-Brexit.
“It is already the UK’s largest port by value for global markets outside the EU handling over 30 per cent of the UK’s export goods.
“The airport is currently operating at 98 per cent runway flight capacity, whilst competitor hub airports across Europe are continuing to grow. This means growth in flights to emerging cargo markets is constrained.
“A new runway will add up to 40 new long haul routes, allowing the UK to connect with new, rapidly growing markets across the world and double cargo capacity which will create enhanced opportunities for businesses of all sizes.
“Exporting is a proven route to business growth whatever the sector.
“Additional jobs will also open for the construction and running of a third runway, with predictions of around 77,000 local jobs becoming available over the next 15 years or so. That would be a big boost to UK employment with positive spinoffs for the Northern Ireland economy.
“It is now essential that MPs vote positively later this month to give a final go-ahead for the plans.”