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GTMC responds to Heathrow’s announcement that a third runway will deliver economic growth

Paul Wait, chief executive of the GTMC commented: “It is reassuring to see that Heathrow understands and is proactively promoting the economic benefits that a third runway would deliver for the UK, whilst at the same time paying due diligence to the importance of regional connectivity.

“During the 2015 election campaign we set out in our manifesto our ambitions for improved transport and infrastructure outside of London and the South East to give regional businesses better opportunities and incentives to travel and therefore realise their potential for growth. For some time now we have called on the Government to carefully consider the value in retaining a percentage of new capacity for regional connections. A third runway at Heathrow would enable growth in its regional network and the opportunity for more business travel from the regions.

“In addition. business travellers favour Heathrow as an international hub airport, and yet they crave more routes to more emerging and established economies, particularly in South America and throughout Asia. Today Heathrow has laid out its commitment to working with the Government to ring-fence capacity both for domestic routes and long-haul routes to growth. This is an ambition we have long held and from our own research within the business travel community we know there is a real demand for.

“Our research, in partnership with Oxford Economics shows a direct link between business travel and economy prosperity. Not only do we know that international business air travel returning to pre-2008 levels within the next five years will add as much as £6.5 billion to the value of UK trade, but that greater air connectivity has a very vital role to play. A one per cent increase in air connectivity has the potential to increase trade by 0.09 per cent, the equivalent to around £600 million.

“We urge the U.K. Government to consider the announcement and findings from Heathrow seriously and commit to airport expansion without any further delay.”

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