AIRPORT: Expansion is not the risk

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An open letter to Andrew Percy MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse.

The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggests that our international competitors will further extend their advantage over the UK unless the ‘fantasy’ of Heathrow expansion is consigned to the dustbin.

In the North East, we look at the issue very differently.

As the UK’s international hub, Heathrow is uniquely placed to ensure the country maintains its place in the global economy.

With extensive links to the nation’s regional airports – including up to six flights a day from Newcastle International Airport in the North East – Heathrow is a national asset for the whole of the UK and vital to the success of our businesses in markets around the world.

The North East is an exporting region and the only region with a consistently positive balance of trade.

For this success to continue, for our region’s economy to continue to grow, and for our businesses to continue to create jobs and trade around the world, the connectivity Heathrow provides must be secured.

We urge you and your colleagues in government to make a swift decision and commit to a third runway at Heathrow.

Expansion is not the risk to the UK’s competitive advantage; further delay is.

James Ramsbotham

North East England Chamber of Commerce