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Heathrow pushes to connect South West to growth

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The benefits of Heathrow expansion could be delivered four years early, giving the British economy a £1.5bn ‘Brexit boost’ whilst a third runway is built, according to new proposals to be launched on the first day of the upcoming Conservative Party Conference.

  • Heathrow unveils proposals to grow domestic route network from 2021 if selected for expansion – four years before a new runway would open 
  • New capacity could create up to 21 daily domestic services – allowing a possible connection to Cornwall Airport Newquay just as Western Rail Access comes online in the early 2020s, further boosting the South West’s connectivity with key growth markets around the world
  • Heathrow is also proposing extending its £10 discount on passenger charges for all flights to UK destinations and bringing forward £10 million in start-up capital to support new domestic routes like Newquay from 2021
  • The extra capacity and package of route support measures have the potential to unlock up to £1.5 billion of additional growth for the nations and regions of the UK in the first five years of Brexit

The South West stands to reap the benefits of Heathrow expansion four years before a new runway would open under proposals unveiled by the UK’s only hub airport today.  

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has increased the need to deliver more growth for every corner of Britain faster. Heathrow’s new proposals show how the UK’s only hub is uniquely placed to make Brexit Britain stronger and fairer for everyone, not just London. 

If Heathrow expansion is approved by Government, the airport will work alongside ministers and consult with the community to refine current expansion plans and increase existing capacity by up to an additional 25,000 flights a year from 2021. The proposals include looking to create up to 21 additional daily domestic services whilst the new runway is under construction, meaning cities like Newquay could benefit from a new connection to the UK’s hub airport just as Western Rail Access comes online, dramatically reducing journey times to the South West.

Taken together, the package is a huge win for the South West –  supporting small and large exporters, boosting competition and reducing prices to consumers.  

If granted consent, the additional 25,000 flights are expected to generate up to £1.5 billion in additional economic growth in the crucial first five years after Brexit, on top of the up to £211 billion projected by the Airports Commission. 

Should the Government greenlight an expanded Heathrow, the full package of measures the airport proposes to support regional growth would include:

  • Creating space for up to an additional 25,000 annual flights from 2021 whilst the new runway is being built
  • Working with Government to ensure the new capacity – up to 21 daily flights – is dedicated for use specifically on UK routes like Cornwall Airport Newquay, a proposal made easier by Britain’s decision to leave the EU
  • Bringing forward £10 million in start-up capital to support new domestic connections like Cornwall Airport Newquay from 2021
  • Continuing the new £10 discount for all flights to UK destinations from Heathrow until at least 2037 as long as there is a justification and it is deemed to be in the public interest
  • Finalising our timetable for establishing supply chain hubs 

 Al Titterington, Cornwall Newquay Airport Managing Director said: 

“The airport expansion debate is as important to Cornwall as it is to London. Heathrow is the UK’s hub airport. A route there would enable Cornwall to have onward connections to every continent of the globe as well as easy access to London. Today’s announcement means we can secure this important link sooner and ensure we bring investment and tourism into Cornwall from new, growing markets outside of Europe. That’s why Heathrow expansion is the right choice for the South West.”

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: 

“This Brexit Boost Plan is our commitment to making the UK stronger and fairer for everyone – faster.  It would generate around £55bn more in growth than Gatwick in the early years of Brexit. Our proposals for an additional 25,000 flights a year from 2021 would help businesses and families from Newquay to Newcastle benefit earlier from Heathrow expansion, while protecting our commitment to meet and exceed the Airports Commission’s environmental conditions.

“Heathrow’s third runway is the only option that can help every nation and region of the UK realise the opportunities of Brexit. The Prime Minister and the Government can now to make the right choice, and back Heathrow expansion.”

Heathrow expansion already has the support of small and large businesses right across the UK and is the favoured option of the majority of MPs. According to the independent Airports Commission, a third runway will create up to 180,000 jobs, four times more than Gatwick, and up to £211bn of economic growth.  

Heathrow will work with airlines to ensure that expansion is delivered cost efficiently. All of Heathrow’s commitments to meet and in most cases exceed the Airports Commission’s conditions, would be protected.

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