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Why airport expansion is so important to the UK

Airport expansion isn't just about adding another runway to Heathrow or Gatwick to increase the number of flights to and from the UK... Well it is, but there are far bigger and more positive implications to UK business and the economy – for instance the £36 billion* that British companies could add to the economy simply by increasing exports to emerging markets.

And as emerging markets travel and spread their business wings, the UK needs to be the place for them to come to. For years, Heathrow has dominated the international arena as the hub to fly to but with the likes of Germany, the Netherlands, France and Dubai hot on our heels, it's crucial that we maintain our position and not lose business unnecessarily to our European and international counterparts.

But we need to hurry up.

Increasing airport capacity will, of course, mean new jobs and infrastructure, but none of this is possible unless the Government makes a decision, sticks to it and acts on it...

At the end of last year, the Government announced a further six-month delay and although it confirms its support for expansion, there are a number of factors – namely environmental impacts – it feels need further investigation to ensure that the final decision made is the right one.

As one of many travel management companies (TMCs) in the UK, CTM facilitates the international movements of business travellers on a daily basis – the representatives that underpin the UK's economic growth. As the economy grows, we want the Government to secure the long term, sustainable and economic expansion based on trade by addressing the lack of capacity at the UK's leading airports Heathrow and Gatwick.

However, while the news has been looked upon favourably by some, others are fed up with the endless debating and analysis.

GTMC CEO Paul Wait said: "An additional six-month wait for a firm decision, let alone action, on the issue of airport expansion is detrimental to the health of UK PLC..."

Crispin Blunt, MP for Reigate said: "This is a disgraceful vacillation by the Government. They will richly deserve the opprobrium to be poured all over this shocking non-decision.

"Sir Howard Davies said in his final report in July: 'The Commission urges the Government to make an early decision on its recommendations. Further delay will be increasingly costly and will be seen, nationally and internationally, as a sign that the UK is unwilling or unable to take the steps needed to maintain its position as a well-connected open trading economy in the twenty first century.'"

So as the Government deliberates further, we wait with baited breath for what will potentially be the first new full-length runway in the South East since World War Two.

If you'd like to find out more about what CTM and our corporate travel services, please contact us at or call us on 0845 470 8702.

*London Loves Business, 20 November 2014 

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