Lack of Capacity Could Cost UK £47bn

AN INDEPENDENT report published by the business advisory firm, FTI Consulting, claims that the UK Government’s decision not to increase the capacity of airports in the south-east of England until 2050 could cost the country’s economy up to £47 billion (US$74bn).  The study suggests that the ‘do nothing’ approach identified in the Department for Transport’s (DfT) recent report on reducing the UK’s carbon emissions would ‘stifle growth’ and could result in lost benefits over the next 30 to 50 years.
“The report is a timely reminder of the important role aviation plays in supporting economic growth and recovery,” remarked London/Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate.  “There is a growing consensus amongst the industry that capacity in the south east is an issue.  This is supported by the report which notes the conclusion from the DfT’s own projections that airport capacity at Gatwick and across the South East will fill up by 2030.”  Mr Wingate added that while Gatwick is currently operating at 78% capacity, the figure for nearby Heathrow was nearer 99%.  “The government must decide how the capacity issue is to be addressed but it is clear from the report that if we ignore the need for more capacity in the London airports system, the whole UK economy will suffer.”