New research from UK-based Frontier Economics has revealed that the expansion of England’s Heathrow Airport will help it compete with its global hub counterparts.
Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye said that the expansion will prevent the airport from moving down to the bottom of the European league table of hub airports, having already lost the privilege of being the world’s largest airport to Dubai last year.
Despite its lower capacity, Heathrow has handled higher passenger numbers than Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Amsterdam and Madrid airports.
Without expansion, the new research claims that the UK will lose its position in the table to France’s airport hub by about 2020, then by Istanbul in 2022, Frankfurt in 2025 and Amsterdam by 2028.
Holland-Kaye said: "Now more than ever, Britain needs to underpin its globally recognised economic strength by delivering privately funded infrastructure projects like a third runway, to protect growth and underpin investor confidence.
"Constraints at Heathrow risk us falling behind our European counterparts and if Heathrow falls behind, Britain falls behind. Now is the time to reinforce our place in the world and send a message that the UK is open for business."
As the UK’s only hub airport, Heathrow is connected to more than 85 long-haul markets worldwide.
The research implies that expansion will be required following the UK’s departure from the EU.
A new third runway at Heathrow Airport is expected to add 40 new long-haul routes and connect exporters to growing markets in Asia, South America and Africa.
Image: Heathrow is connected to more than 85 long-haul markets worldwide. Photo: courtesy of Heathrow Media Centre.