Billions of benefits, thousands of jobs from new hub airport
Leading economists have calculated that building a new four runway hub airport would provide a 2.1 billion pounts boost and over 17,500 new jobs across the UK.
Over the last 20 years the number of routes into Heathrow from domestic airports around the UK has fallen dramatically. As a result large parts of Britain are now without access to the UK’s main international airport and the links to massive overseas trade markets that it can provide.
The report Making Connections was written by experts from York Aviation and Oxford Economics, and commissioned by Transport for London. It demonstrates how a new four runway hub airport would restore those links and provide 49 more regional flights every day than a third runway at Heathrow would provide.
With a new hub seven cities and regions - Liverpool, Inverness, Newquay, Durham Tees Valley, Humberside, Dundee and Cardiff - would gain new air connections to the London hub and seven cities and regions would see their existing connections improved. The report illustrates how poorly Heathrow, where the number of domestic connections has slumped to just seven services, connects the nations and regions of the UK in comparison with European competitor hubs such as Schipol airport in Amsterdam.
The analysis highlights how a third runway at Heathrow would fail to reverse the decline and predicts that even with a third runway the number of domestic routes would decline further with the loss of the existing Leeds/Bradford route. A third runway would fill up very quickly due to existing demand at Heathrow, which already runs at 99 per cent of its capacity.
Pressure on airlines to use slots for the most profitable routes would then mean domestic services would be crowded out again, which would prohibit new routes being established and mean that established services to cities like Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle would not be immune to a further loss of frequency. ■