Heathrow Expansion Good For Business?

  • 2nd November 2016

Last week the news broke that next year the vote would go ahead for coming to a final decision on whether another runway should be built at Heathrow. Decidedly opinion is split with both sides putting forward strong arguments.  

Expanding the airport would mean Heathrow could offer more direct flights to UK destinations as well as up to 40 new cities abroad such as, Wuhan, Osaka, and Quito. The Department for Transport said a new runway at Heathrow would bring economic benefits to passengers and the wider economy worth up to £61bn and create as many as 77,000 additional local jobs over the next 14 years. Business leaders, including from the CBI and Institute of Directors, welcomed the decision and called for the runway to be built as quickly as possible. 

Expanding the airport would also mean Homes, villages and communities would be lost and 10,000 people will have to move; houses would be under compulsory purchase if the runway goes ahead, meaning that the government would buy it and offer the current market value plus 25% and moving costs. Greenpeace UK chief John Sauven said a third runway at Heathrow would increase air pollution and "be a waste of time, money and lives". Councils near Heathrow and Greenpeace vowed to fight the third runway being built, as residents in areas close to the airport who have opposed expansion expressed dismay. Other residents however say a lot of noise is coming from only a few and the majority of residents are happy with an extra runway being built. Many residents work at Heathrow or for business that thrive off the airport's close proximity.  

The BIDBI team had much to say in opposition to the plans. With 10 against the expansion compared to only 1 in favour. 

Richard Robinson (Design & Marketing) says, "A growing economy should not come at the expense of ever diminishing reserves." 

Kristi Clark (International Operation, "I'm not opposed to growth, I'm opposed to damaging the environment for capitalist gain. Why not expand an airport in the North?" 

Arnika Bhupal (Sales & Marketing) "Only 5% of the worlds population fly, we should not be pushing our bad decisions on those that would be worse affected and who will probably never set foot on a plane." 

Julia Gash (CEO), has a differing view, "This expansion has been in the pipeline for 40 years, it makes sense, Heathrow is already a hub and it needs to grow inline with demand."  

What do you think? Should Heathrow be able to build another runway? They seem to believe they've already got the go ahead. Investment into the expansion of Heathrow airport has already started. The airport said that the process of investing £50m into the project's procurement before the end of next year is now under way.