A NORTH East business leader has renewed his call for the Government to back expansion of Heathrow Airport as a new report warned that a lack of capacity is already costing the UK £14bn a year in lost trade.
New research from Frontier Economics claimed that figure could rise to £26bn a year by 2030 unless action was taken to address the problem.
The figures form part of new report “One hub or none”, published by Heathrow Airport, which marks its first contribution to the aviation capacity debate since the establishment of the Government’s Airports Commission.
The report explains why a hub airport is different and uniquely valuable to the UK. It also sets out why two hubs, or ideas for a split hub taking in both Heathrow and Gatwick, won’t work.
Heathrow also claims that, while it welcomes the growth of regional airports such as Newcastle, it is impossible for non-hub airports such as Stansted or Birmingham to close the £14bn trade gap.
The report warns that a lack of capacity is already restricting the potential to offer new routes to the world’s emerging economies.
North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive James Ramsbotham said: “As the UK’s only net exporting region, the North East is hugely reliant on access to international markets. A third of businesses flying from Newcastle International will be doing so specifically to access another flight from Heathrow.
“Furthermore, luring inward investment to regions such as the North East is made easier when connections to head offices of multinational companies are provided via a hub. Heathrow is not only a vital asset for London and UK Plc but also for the North East.”