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Trade and Export Growth

An expanded Heathrow will help to boost the UK’s trading potential.

Heathrow is already the UK’s largest port by value for global markets outside the EU and Switzerland, handling 40% of the UK’s export goods to these markets.

However, the airport is currently operating at 98% runway flight capacity, whilst our competitor hub airports across Europe are continuing to grow. This means growth in flights to emerging cargo markets is constrained.

Expansion will add dozens of new long haul routes, allowing us to connect with new, rapidly growing markets across the world.

A new runway will double our cargo capacity. This will create new opportunities for businesses across Britain, both large and small, to trade with the rest of the world. Heathrow’s largest British exports include jewellery, machinery and medicines, each worth billions of pounds for businesses across Britain. With 95% of the global economy potentially just one flight away from Heathrow, expansion will deliver the crucial new infrastructure for Britain to secure a strong economy for generations to come.

If you board a plane at Heathrow, there will be British goods under your seat in the belly hold, ready for exporting.

Source of average trade data: UKTradeInfo 2015 – 2018 average totals. Excl: EU & Switzerland trade, Inland Clearance & Low Value Trade

Trade

As the UK’s largest port by value for trade with countries outside the EU and Switzerland, Heathrow is now  responsible for handling over 40% of the UK’s trade following the 2019 figures (see below). This is over £140 billion of UK goods per year. Heathrow is the only airport which has the infrastructure in place to manage trade on this scale. With expansion, our cargo capacity will double, connecting more British goods with fast-growing international markets; boosting trade and helping the UK remain globally competitive.

2015 Fiscal Year


Excludes EU & Switzerland, Inland Clearance and Low Value trade

2016 Fiscal Year

Source of average trade data: UKTradeInfo

Excludes EU & Switzerland, Inland Clearance and Low Value trade

2017 Fiscal Year

Source of average trade data: UKTradeInfo

Excludes EU & Switzerland, Inland Clearance and Low Value trade