Heathrow press releases

25 October, 2016

National consensus emerges: businesses and politicians from across the UK welcome Heathrow expansion

Heathrow Expansion CGI


Mike Cherry, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB):

“Today’s decision on airport capacity is a welcome boost for British business, which could deliver up to £211bn of extra economic growth, 180,000 jobs and double the apprenticeships at Heathrow to a total of 10,000. We now need to see budgets committed and shovels in the ground as soon as possible.

“The green light for a major infrastructure project like this is essential to increasing exports, jobs and growth throughout the UK, with more long haul routes and double the capacity for freight. We have already worked closely with Heathrow to guarantee small firms will play a major part in the huge £16bn procurement exercise to build the runway and associated works.

“When the runway is built, FSB members will want to see promises for increased regional connectivity delivered, in addition to new routes to overseas destinations - boosting freight exports and connecting our world-beating businesses to new markets.

“At a time when FSB’s latest small business confidence index shows 62 per cent of small firms view the domestic economy as a barrier to growth, there is no better signal Britain is open for business than today's decision."


Paul Drechsler, CBE CBI President:

“The Prime Minister’s green light to expand the UK’s aviation capacity comes as an enormous relief to firms in every corner of the country.

“A new runway at Heathrow is really fantastic news, especially as the country has waited nearly 50 years for this decision. It will create the air links that will do so much to drive jobs and unlock growth across the UK, allowing even more of our innovative, ambitious and internationally focussed firms, from Bristol to Belfast, to take off and break into new markets.

“With contracts to tender for, apprentices to recruit and supply chains to build, this 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.

“This project should form part of a long-term framework for aviation capacity for the whole of the UK. Pressing ahead with key infrastructure projects like this will provide not only a welcome economic stimulus, but will show the world that we are well and truly open for business as we negotiate our exit from the EU.”


Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East and former Shadow Transport Secretary:

“As Shadow Transport Secretary, I set out the four tests that airport expansion needs to meet in order to secure Labour’s support. Expanding Heathrow meets those tests, delivering connectivity and jobs across the whole of the country. Crucially, Heathrow demonstrates that we can provide a much needed boost to the economy whilst putting in place vital environmental safeguards. It’s time now to get on with it.”


Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North:

“London is the greatest city on earth but we’ve got to fight to maintain that position as we leave the EU. Expanding Heathrow is the right choice and will help to keep London at the top table of world cities – a hub for talent, tourism and investment. My constituents are looking forward to jumping on the Elizabeth Line to take advantage of an apprenticeship at Heathrow or catch a flight to visit friends and family around the world. This debate has gone on far too long and I am pleased that Heathrow can now get on with the important task of delivering the extra runway capacity that London needs.”


Steve Double, MP for Newquay & St Austell and Chair of Regional Airports Group:

This is the right choice for the whole of the UK and the South West in particular. Expanding Heathrow means we can finally get the hub connection that Newquay Airport needs that will benefit businesses across Cornwall. It means Britain can make the most of Brexit and reach growing markets in every corner of the globe.


Virendra Sharma, MP for Ealing:

“I’ve changed my mind on Heathrow expansion for the simple reason that Heathrow have engaged, listened and changed their plans. Now that Heathrow has accepted the Airports Commission conditions, West London can say ‘yes’ to the jobs, apprenticeships and investment that expansion will bring. Heathrow is the backbone of the West London economy and now that there is appropriate mitigation and compensation in place for local communities, I’m pleased that the Government have made the right decision.”


Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter:

“Heathrow has big advantages for the South West over Gatwick in terms of access by rail and road and potential links to global routes from our region’s airports. The overwhelming bulk of pollution and carbon emissions generally and even around Heathrow is from road transport, not aviation, so it will be perfectly possible for the UK to meet our climate change and air quality targets as long as the Government takes effective action on cleaning up and decarbonising road transport.”


Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South and former Shadow Scotland Secretary:

“Scottish businesses have been clear: if we want to create jobs in Scotland by attracting more tourists and more investment or by selling more great Scottish products abroad, expanding Heathrow complements the continued success of our own regional airports. Today’s decision means that Heathrow can get on with the task of delivering a new runway that will connect Scotland to the emerging markets of the world. The Governments in Westminster and Holyrood now need to work constructively together to ensure this project is delivered as soon as possible and with Scottish interests at the heart of the plans.”


Philip Davies, MP Shipley in West Yorkshire:

“I applaud the Government’s announcement to expand Heathrow as the best option for Yorkshire and the whole of the UK. While we have been dithering over this issue for years, our competitors on the continent have been taking advantage. Expanding our hub airport and our biggest port by value will see us regain our competitive advantage.”


Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon:

“Heathrow is the right choice for Wales. With the Western Rail Link set to be delivered before the new runway opens, South Wales will be within two hours of one of the best connected airports in the world. That puts new markets for Welsh exporters on our doorstep and new sources of tourism and investment within easy reach. Heathrow’s commitment to support SMEs and steel producers in Wales to get into their supply chain is particularly welcome and I look forward to seeing the benefits of Heathrow expansion that will be seen in Wales.”


Gerald Jennings, President, Leeds Chamber:

“We are pleased that after much prevaricating a decision to progress to the next stage has finally been made over Heathrow expansion. In a recent Chamber export destinations survey we reported increases in the number of companies doing business in North America and South East Asia for the third consecutive year running. Heathrow to the world via Leeds-Bradford Airport is already helping Yorkshire businesses reach these markets but with expansion and a further runway comes the potential for more destinations and greater world access. Expansion at Heathrow will send out a very strong message to the rest of the world that we remain open for business as we make plans to depart the EU.”


Jason Millett, COO for Major Programmes and Infrastructure at Mace:

“This is fantastic news for the UK. Not only will Heathrow’s third runway mean an estimated £211bn boost of additional business and trade for the UK, but it will also create 180,000 skilled jobs across the country. The project’s skills legacy will benefit young people and our industry for generations.

“We have been working with Heathrow to develop a robust timetable for delivery to get spades in the ground as quickly as possible, giving a boost to the economy and international trade.”


Tim Husbands, CEO of Titanic Belfast:

“The introduction of extra capacity for Heathrow can only be a good thing for both the UK and Northern Ireland, helping to connect both national and international visitors to these shores.

The extra Heathrow capacity will not only give an economic boost to Northern Ireland, but also raise awareness of Belfast as a truly European destination – highlighted by Titanic Belfast’s recent award of ‘Europe’s Leading Visitor Attraction’. Anything that helps Northern Ireland build on that reputation has to be supported and encouraged!”


Ann McGregor, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry:

“This is the right decision for Northern Ireland. An expanded Heathrow will herald a new era of connectivity for Northern Ireland. Easyjet has said they want to fly from Heathrow to Belfast International and Flybe have said they want to fly from Heathrow to Derry City Airport. That is on top of securing the flights we already have from Belfast City. That means more flights to Heathrow, from more Northern Irish airports, with a greater choice of airlines for passengers.”


Al Titterington, MD of Newquay Cornwall Airport:

“This is the right decision for Cornwall. If business and tourism are going to thrive in Cornwall then we need access to the rest of the world - a quality connection to a hub airport like Heathrow is how we get it. We are now going to work with our partners at Heathrow and the Government to deliver a Newquay – Heathrow route as soon as capacity becomes available.”


Robert Anderson, CEO,  Tomatin Distillery:

“We are thrilled that the Government has recognised the important role Heathrow plays in connecting Scottish exporters to global markets. This is the right decision for Scottish distilleries like Tomatin that rely on Heathrow to bring our products to the world.  Connection with an international destination like Heathrow creates direct access for distributors and our global sales team working in many overseas markets.  Increasing our export sales has been a focus for the business in recent years and the link with an international hub will be vital to the ongoing development within our key global markets including the USA and Asia.”


Joanna Morgan, Founder, Radnor Preserves:

“The Prime Minister has made the right choice for businesses in Wales and across the UK by backing Heathrow. This decision will allow us to export our high quality, British made products to more markets in more corners of the world.”


Rahul Kale, International & UK Sales Director, Typhoo:

“As a leading exporter of British made hot beverages, we welcome the Government’s support for Heathrow expansion. This bold move will help exporters like us get our products to existing markets cheaper and opens up a host of opportunities in new markets.” 


Barbara Hughes, Founder, Ruby Blue:

“As owners of a small business with ambitions to export more internationally, we welcome the Government’s backing of Heathrow expansion with open arms.”


Ian Dormer, Managing Director of Rosh Engineering and Chairman of the Institute of Directors:

“The Prime Minister has made the right decision by choosing to strengthen Britain’s hub airport. For our business this decision means we will no longer have to travel via other hub airports in Amsterdam or Paris. Expanding Heathrow will reduce the costs on our business, making us more competitive internationally.”

Jacqui Miller, Board Director, Miller International:

"As a global business, we welcome the 40 new long haul connections that Heathrow expansion will bring. The Prime Minister has today ensured that exporters of all sizes will be able to trade more effectively with more   markets around the world signalling that Great Britain post Brexit is very much open for business."

Ray O’Rourke, Chairman and Chief Executive of Laing O’Rourke

“We are delighted the UK Government has approved the expansion of Heathrow Airport, with the confirmation of the go-ahead for a third runway.

Having worked alongside Heathrow in a long-term relationship to deliver Terminal 5 and Terminal 2A, I know them to be a forward thinking organisation who will take a transformational approach to completing this complex project on time and budget, to the complete satisfaction of all stakeholders.”

Preetham Sharma, Director, Brown & Burke:

“This decision will unlock the flights and routes we need to import vital pharmaceuticals from international suppliers, enabling us to transport them to GPs, surgeons and neurologists across the UK. In a fast-paced industry like ours, frequent and direct connections are vital and we are thrilled the Prime Minister has taken this decision.”


Steve King, CEO, Black Swan:

“By backing Heathrow, the Prime Minister has made the right choice for our business. The Heathrow expansion will connect ambitious businesses like ours to more opportunities and new markets by allowing us to reach our existing overseas customers in person.”


Nancy Lalor, Operations Manager, Learning to Work:

“We proudly partner with Heathrow as they actively support local young people in their plight to become work ready, career informed and community focused. We are pleased to work collaboratively with Heathrow and their employees to help students develop the skills and qualities they require to be successful in the workplace.  Expansion will bring new and exciting openings for young people in terms of education, jobs, training and apprenticeships and Heathrow is committed to raising the aspirations, knowledge and work ready characteristics to ensure our future workforce are equipped and ready for the many opportunities that await them”


Jamela Khan, Managing Director, Education Business Services International:
“As Managing Director of a local company committed to supporting young people in the changing environment that Brexit will surely bring, I am excited to have the opportunity to further enhance our partnership with Heathrow Airport and maximise the employment and training opportunities that expansion will bring for many young people in the surrounding communities.”