Third Heathrow runway vital for business

25 October 2016

Third Heathrow runway vital for business

Professor Kathy Pain fromReal Estate and Planning and the ICMA Centre's Dr Andreas Hoepner, share their thoughts on the long-awaited and much disputed decision regarding the Heathrow airport expansion. 

 

Professor Kathy Pain from Real Estate and Planning and the ICMA Centre's Dr Andreas Hoepner, share their thoughts on the long-awaited and much disputed decision regarding the Heathrow airport expansion.

Professor Kathy Pain

Today’s decision to build a third runway at Heathrow is the right one to ensure that London remains an international hub for global business.

In the fast-changing interlinked world economy, major firms increasingly do business through worldwide office networks in which their expert global functions and skills are co-located in major international financial centres like London. Research since 2000 into the sustainability of London and the South East as a world centre for global business, has found that Heathrow is the vital UK hub for international flows of business people that are critical also for the economies of other UK cities.

A recent two and a half years study for the European Spatial Observation Network*, part financed by the European Regional Development Fund, found that compared with other major European business hubs,  London is the key connection between Europe and the rest of the world in the space of global airflows, including the emerging markets in Asia. Had the proposed Heathrow expansion not gone ahead, this is the role London could have lost.  

Brexit makes sustaining the UK’s accessibility for international business through Heathrow even more important.

*For further details of the study and its findings, visit:
http://elgarblog.com/2014/06/10/the-european-global-macro-region-redrawing-the-world-map-of-globalization-by-kathy-pain-and-gilles-van-hamme/  
https://elgarblog.com/2016/05/13/brexit-debate-being-part-of-the-european-global-macro-region-could-be-vital-for-british-cities/#more-5404 

Dr Andreas Hoepner 

Especially in light of the significant threat that a hard Brexit poses to the English and Welsh economy, it is crucial to remain internationally competitive in logistical aspects.

London Heathrow, Britain's leading airport, has two runways, which is simply underwhelming when compared with all rival airports: Paris's CDG, Frankfurt's Fraport, Amsterdam's Schiphol, Dublin's Shannon and Denmark's Kastrup.

So with immigration times for the average passenger going up following Brexit, Heathrow capabilities to process airplanes also need to enhance, otherwise the overall passenger experience is bound to decline despite the usually excellent service of both local airlines BA and Virgin.

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