Opportunities in Bucks from Heathrow Expansion

Nigel Milton, Director of External Affairs at Heathrow Airport, presented to the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) board on September 11th, the business opportunities arising from the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport.

Board members heard about how environmental and economic objectives were equally important to the plans. They learned how increased flight capacity could benefit the local economy through access to new markets, supporting reduced flight costs and providing employment and skills opportunities for the local communities around the airport site.

Nigel explained that the development in aeroplane technology would enable planes to fly higher for longer, reduce emission levels and that the increased capacity would allow greater flexibility in flying times than were currently possible.  He also explained that the proposed expansion, which could see the North West Runway operational from 2025, would double the number of apprenticeship opportunities to 10,000 and provide up to 40,000 local jobs.

Nigel is committed to working with Buckinghamshire authorities to develop better surface transport integration and to engage with local businesses and communities throughout the development process.

Alex Pratt, Chairman of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the development proposals: “The development of air capacity around London is of paramount importance to the economy of the UK and in particular to businesses in areas such as Buckinghamshire that benefit through close access to the main international hubs.

Alex added: “BTVLEP are keen to ensure that a final decision on the proposals is made by the end of the year and will be pressing Government to ensure that there is no slippage on a final decision. It will be important to work to minimise potential downsides as well as to maximise the upside potential. We want to ensure that our businesses and communities are well informed about any opportunities emerging through this process in what will be one of the biggest infrastructure projects of the next decade.

The Buckinghamshire Business Growth Hub, Bucks Business First, are supporting a further opportunity for local businesses to hear about the development proposals – The Heathrow Business Summit will be held at the Radisson Hotel, Heathrow on 10th November www.heathrowbusinesssummit.co.uk and provides an ideal opportunity or small and medium sized businesses to learn more about the business opportunities at Heathrow.