James Stamp, global head of aviation at KPMG comments on Airports Commission’s recommendations for expanding aviation capacity.
"We welcome the final publication of the Davies commission findings. The rigorous report has made a clear recommendation in favour of Heathrow, but equally, it has not ruled out expansion at Gatwick in the future. We expect both airports to play a very important role.
“A significant amount of time, effort, and energy has been spent at arriving at the conclusions. Strong account has been taken with the need to meet EU air pollution limits, address noise pollution concerns and move most ground traffic from road to rail. What must happen is action by the politicians: further delay would significantly damage UK plc.
“In context, the UK has not built a full-length runway in the South East since World War 2. Our neighbours in the EU have overtaken us - Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam already have much more runway capacity. What this means is that we’re losing out in the global connectivity race: Paris already offers 50 per cent more flights to China than London, for example. This is significant, because by 2025 there will be 7,000 new $1bn companies globally, and nearly 7 in 10 will be in emerging economies. If we want to connect with these we have to act.
“With the world’s biggest cities planning 50 new runways by 2036, allowing for 1bn new passenger journeys, we simply can’t afford any further political delay. Given that Dubai will soon have more capacity than all of London’s airports combined, it is clear that expansion of airport capacity in the South East is a must. The world is watching to see if London and the UK has the ambition to maintain its position as a Global trading hub – we’re losing ground to our competitors, and further political delay would be unacceptable.”
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Nahidur Rahman, KPMG Press Office
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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.