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Media release

Airports Commission verdict: More jobs, more economic benefits and less noise

Posted on in Airports commission

The Airports Commission’s national consultation document, released today, says that Heathrow will deliver more economic benefits and more jobs than expansion at Gatwick.

Up to £211bn of economic benefits across the UK, £97bn more than Gatwick

The Commission puts the economic benefit of a new runway at Heathrow at £112-£211bn. This is a significantly higher figure than previously estimated. The Commission says the value to the economy of choosing Heathrow over Gatwick could be as much as £97bn.

Most economic benefits would accrue outside London and the South East. PWC analysis for the Commission says Heathrow expansion could deliver up to £114bn of economic benefits to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions. The average benefit to nations and regions outside London and the South East of choosing Heathrow is put at £85.6bn, compared to £36.7bn for Gatwick. The rest of the UK would receive more than twice as much economic benefit by expanding Heathrow as by expanding Gatwick.

Up to 179,000 jobs by 2050

The Commission’s analysis also shows Heathrow will deliver more new jobs throughout the UK than a new runway will at Gatwick. The Commission says expanding Heathrow could deliver 179,600 new jobs by 2050. Heathrow expansion would deliver 130,000 more jobs than would be created by a new runway at Gatwick, including 70,000 more jobs in manufacturing.

Deliverable with less noise than today

The Commission’s appraisal confirms that the expansion of Heathrow can be delivered while reducing aircraft noise for local residents. It says that “When compared to current noise levels, fewer people are predicted to be affected across all metrics”.

The Commission also says that Heathrow expansion would result in a “positive impact” on night flight noise in the future. This is thanks to improvements to aircraft technology and the capability of early morning arrivals to land further to the west.

Heathrow’s response

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye says, “The Commission has confirmed that only Heathrow can connect all of Britain to global growth, delivering over £200bn to the British economy and 180,000 jobs while reducing noise for local residents compared to today.”

“This shows that Heathrow’s proposal is deliverable and is the only way to keep Britain at the heart of the global economy. Now it’s time for all those who want a better future for Britain to make their voice heard and back Heathrow.” – John Holland-Kaye

More cargo and better connections

Heathrow will also deliver more long-haul flights than Gatwick, support more UK cargo exports, and be better connected to the rest of the UK by rail according to the Commission’s consultation document.

The Commission accepts its work in some areas is incomplete. Its analysis of road traffic and air quality emissions does not yet account for mitigation measures proposed by Heathrow. These include the airport providing incentives for people to use public transport, reducing staff car parking spaces and introducing a congestion charge for people travelling to the airport by car. We are confident that once the Commission has modelled our proposed mitigation measures it will confirm that there will be no need.