Ed Thomas, UK head of transport at KPMG, comments on the airport capacity issues facing the South-East of England in the coming years. He said:
“Five years after the Davies Commission was set up to determine how the UK should maintain its status as a global aviation hub, the new National Policy Statement further underlines the critical role of airport capacity in connecting UK plc to trading partners and investors in the rest of the world.
“The debate about new runways in the UK should never have been framed purely in terms of where to lay 3000 metres of concrete and tarmac. More fundamentally it is a debate about how we secure our future economic prosperity. Within a decade, over half of global growth will be driven by emerging economies, and now more than ever, the UK needs to make sure we are connected to that growth engine. How do we do that if London’s airports are full?
“Currently London is not directly connected to 128 of the biggest cities in the world and without additional capacity, this will deteriorate over time. It is forecast that by 2030, we will lack connections to 194 of the 309 cities that have populations of over two million. Of these 194 cities 16 will be in China and 15 in India, both leading emerging markets, which will power global growth. Our competitors already have connections to 41 of these cities.”
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