Business calls for a stop to airport “dithering”
A campaign called Let Britain Fly wants the country’s aviation offer to improve along with increasing capacity. Business travel is a vital element of London’s economy and its reputation as a global financial powerhouse. Yet environmental concerns remain. So what’s the solution?
100 top business leaders in Britain have told politicians to stop “dithering” over airport expansion. The bosses, coming from luminary firms like John Lewis, Lloyds, Hilton Hotels, Next, Westfield Group and Land Securities say the country could risk becoming “also rans” if a clear strategy on airport growth is not defined. They also accused politicians of “mismanagement” that is causing an aviation crisis.
Business feels that airport capacity is coming to a head. To continue to support business travel for the next generation there needs to be more flights, more space and seats for more travellers. To get their point across the business leaders have joined forced and launched a campaign called Let Britain Fly. With huge global growth in air travel over the past century, the industry bosses fear that London has not had a new runway since WWII and that damage could be done to the economy if the issue is not resolved with a clear strategy.
The campaign centralises the information and makes a number of key points about air travel;
- The fear of London falling behind or not building on connections with emerging economies is compounded with the revelation that the capital does not have daily flights to 10 of these destinations. 26 of the cities in their economies are served by daily flights from other European cities meaning they could steal a march
- London’s main airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted will be full by the mid-2020s
- In the past 2 years the demand for air travel through London airports has increased by 50%
- Even if the number of flights increases by 55% the UK will still meet its carbon target, confounding protests by environmentalists
- London has fewer weekly flights than Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich and Madrid to half of the emerging market economies and seven of the eight growth economies highlighted by the IMF
There are many reasons against increasing aviation capacity, including environmental concerns and fears over areas of London becoming too congested. However expansion must be a priority in some way. The doors must be open for business in emerging and exiting economies. If London begins to fall behind other countries it will difficult, or impossible to make the ground up. With serviced apartment accommodation across the capital in Canary Wharf, the City, The West End and South West London Clarendon works extensively with business travellers. There has been an increase in travellers from across the world. It is important that this flow of traffic continues, not just for Clarendon but also the additional economy boost these travellers give; to the business they’re working/investing in, local firms they spend money with like bars and restaurants as well as short let accommodation. The aviation industry impacts on the whole of London and the UK’s economy. It needs to be assured for future generations and for increased capacity to be managed.