Heathrow upgrade to contribute 187 billion pounds to UK economyJay Jackson - Wednesday 9th January, 2019
LONDON, UK - Public consultation began on Tuesday for the proposed expansion of Heathrow, the UK's busiest and only hub airport.
The plan which includes adding a third runway has the backing of the government, the Airports Commission, and the wider community.
Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe, and the second busiest in the world for carrying passenger numbers.
As other airports around the world expand and upgrade, Heathrow too, to remain competitive, is faced with having to increase its current 98% capacity.
Running at near capacity has constrained business in the UK for more than a decade, and has restricted airlines from operating routes to many copuntries that have growing economies, particularly in Asia and the Americas.
The UK has been losing business to France and Germany which have managed to expand their hub airports and take on the new routes.
The Airports Commission believes the proposed expansion will create up to 180,000 jobs across the UK, and contribute up to £187 billion to the British economy. Apprenticeships at the airport will increase from 5,000 to 10,000 by 2030.
A new runway will enable airlines to establish new routes to emerging markets in Asia and South America. It would also provide increased access for long-haul markets, new domestic air routes and improved surface connections.
Ominously on Tuesday as the new expansion plan went out for consultation, the airport was closed to departures due to the sighting of a drone near the runways.
“We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety,” a tweet by Heathrow Airport said.
“As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate.”