Tom Keighley

Member Article

CBI call for more aviation capacity

The CBI is applying pressure on the Government to decide on a plan for the future of UK aviation.

As the Chancellor revealed his ambitions to double the UK’s annual exports to £1 trillion by 2020, the business lobbying organisation suggests without aviation expansion, the UK risks losing out.

It claims that current capacity constraints mean that we are losing out to European rivals on new routes to emerging markets, and risk becoming a less attractive place to do business and invest.

Calling for a firm plan within 18 months, the CBI wants the Government to take urgent decisions on maximising capacity at existing airports, building a new runway to serve the south of England at one of the existing airports and allow expansion at regional airports and exploring a new hub airport for London, to serve the UK’s needs in the longer-term.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “Our proposals for the future of aviation in the UK will help us to tackle rising demand in the short, medium and long-term across the country.

“This is not an “either or”, we need to act now and across all fronts to remain a world class business destination, and boost our trade with emerging economies.

“To achieve the Government’s laudable aim of doubling our annual exports by 2020, the UK must improve its connections with fast-growing markets such as China, India and South America. This means providing the capacity for airlines to put on new flights.

“Right now, our major airports are losing out to other European destinations. More of our regional UK cities are connected by air to Amsterdam than to Heathrow, and we have no links at all with many of the major Chinese cities.

“Businesses don’t want the main UK aviation hub to become Schiphol or Frankfurt.”

The CBI point out that Frankfurt now serves 225 destinations in 11 countries, and has recently opened a fourth runway with room to grow.

Heathrow by comparison serves 176 destinations in just 90 countries and can only open new routes by closing existing ones.

So far, the UK has been unable to meet rising demand for flights to growth markets in China, which are served by airports in the likes of Frankfurt, Paris or Amsterdam.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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