Heathrow expansion could be vital for UK manufacturing

MPs will decide whether to approve the expansion of Heathrow Airport later today, but what does this mean for UK manufacturing?

The proposed new runway could provide a massive economic boost to the country, with more than 100,000 new UK jobs and benefits of up to £74bn to passengers and the wider economy.

It could enable access to new international routes which would encourage further trade; vital for the future of manufacturing and exports.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is a momentous vote that has been 50 years in the making and represents the biggest transport decision in a generation.

Expansion plans would increase Heathrow's passenger capacity from 85.5m annually to 130m.
Expansion plans would increase Heathrow’s passenger capacity from 85.5m annually to 130m.

“Successive governments have wrestled with the issue of Heathrow expansion but never before has Parliament held a vote on this project.”

The £14bn development plans would increase Heathrow’s passenger capacity from 85.5 million annually to 130 million.

EEF are backing the decision, believing a Heathrow expansion would enable better access to emerging markets.

In a blog post published today (25 June), EEF said it would give a “good sign that post-Brexit Britain is still open for business.”

Chris Richards, head of business environment policy at EEF, said: “Heathrow is a global freight hub, providing significant freight capacity for Britain’s exporters right across the country.

“The dense global route connectivity from Heathrow ensures this freight capacity is provided in a cost effective way at a significant advantage for British based exporters.”

From new and upgraded trade links to easier access to investment; manufacturing could see some of the biggest benefits from the expansion.

The proposed new runway would provide a massive economic boost to the country.
The proposed new runway would provide a massive economic boost to the country.

Previous research from Quod and analysed by The Manufacturer, suggests that a quarter of the new manufacturing jobs generated by the development would be based in the Northern Powerhouse.

The airport is home to more than 80 airlines and connects the UK to over 200 destinations. Further investment and a new runway could help to drive overseas trade and this could be vital in securing Britain’s post-Brexit position in business, investment, manufacturing and more.

Grayling believes it is in “long-term national interest” to go forward with the project.

He concluded: “At stake are thousands of new jobs and the country’s ability to compete on an international stage and win new global trade.”