All Party Parliamentary Group analysis shows a 3rd runway at Heathrow would be at the expense of surrounding airports
The All-Party Parliamentary Group of MPs (APPG) has submitted a report to the Airports Commission (and to the Government) showing that, according to the Commission’s own figures, there would be no overall increase in the number of UK passengers, flights or destinations as a result of a 3rd Heathrow runway. Instead, any increased activity at Heathrow airport itself would be fed almost entirely by re-distributing growth from other UK airports. This would me an more activity at Heathrow at the expense of regional airports, customers and the wider economy. The All Party Parliamentary Group’s “Wider Economy” Reports raise serious doubts about there being any net benefit to the wider UK economy, or to the regions, from a new Heathrow runway. It suggests the runway could even have a significant negative impacts on them. The Commission’s figures show that with or without an extra runway at Heathrow, the growth rate of the UK passenger market from 2030 to 2050 is anticipated to be 1.4% per annum. It is predicted that a 3rd runway would cause a reduction of 207,000 flights per year, to and from regional airports by 2050. The total number of destination airports for flights from UK airports might also be lower, if there is a 3rd Heathrow runway.
Figures show that increased activity from a third runway at Heathrow would be at the expense of surrounding airports
2.2.2015 (All Party Parlimentary Group)
The Reports: All Party Parliamentary Group – Wider Economy Report
A new report by a committee of MPs has revealed that figures relating to passenger forecasts in the Airports Commission own consultation document ‘Strategic Fit Forecasts’ demonstrate there would be no overall increase in the number of UK passengers, flights or destinations as a result of Heathrow’s expansion. Instead, the increased activity at Heathrow airport would be fed almost entirely by re-distributing growth from other UK airports and in particular the regional airports.
The report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) ‘The Wider Economy – Impact of Heathrow Airport’s expansion on the number and distribution of UK passengers and destinations’ contradicts the predictions of growth from Heathrow and raises serious doubts about there being any net benefit to the wider UK economy brought about by Heathrow’s expansion. It suggests expansion of Heathrow could have a significant negative impact on the regions and the overall efficiency of the UK economy.
For this analysis, the APPG looked at the five economic scenarios of Heathrow expansion presented by the Commission in their consultation document. The Committee then focused on creating one average outcome while recognising possible variations around this case. The Airports Commission have not given any probability as to which case, out of the five cases, is most likely.
The results from the APPG analysis of the Commission figures show that with or without an extra runway at Heathrow, the growth rate of the UK passenger market from 2030 to 2050 is predicted to be 1.4% per annum. This raises questions as to whether the expansion of Heathrow will contribute to the wider UK economy.
According to the Commission’s predictions, when looking at the impact of Heathrow expansion on the wider network, it is predicted that a third runway would cause a reduction of 207,000 regional flights a year to and from regional airports by 2050. Aligned with this, the number of destinations served by UK airports could actually increase from 361 in 2011 to 402 in 2050 if Heathrow were not to expand. However, if Heathrow expanded the Commission assumes that the number of destinations will be slightly lower in 2050 with 401 destinations served by UK airports, again due to the reduction in growth from regional airports.
The APPG report also notes that international transfer passengers represent a large incremental addition to Heathrow’s forecast passenger demand but that there is little evidence in regards to their value to the UK economy
The report has been issued the day after the Airports Commission’s public consultation closed. This is the Commission’s final consultation before it announces its recommendation as to whether Heathrow or Gatwick should be granted another runway.
Speaking about the launch of the report, the Chair of the APPG, Zac Goldsmith MP said “figures produced by the Airports Commission itself show that any additional activity at an expanded Heathrow would be at the expense of surrounding airports and wouldn’t be additional. In other words, a third runway would simply centralise activity. The only real effect of cobbling together the old monopoly would be to reduce competition and choice for travellers. It’s hardly a compelling reason to subject an additional 300,000 new people to Heathrow’s noise.”
Notes to the Editor:
Members of the APPG on Heathrow and the Wider Economy:
§ Zac Goldsmith MP – Chair
§ John Randall MP – Vice Chair
§ Baroness Hamwee – Vice Chair
§ Jenny Tonge – Treasurer
§ John McDonnell MP – Secretary
§ Mary McLeod MP
§ Bob Blackman MP
§ Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP
§ Lord Chris Holmes
§ Lord True
§ Angie Bray MP
§ John Cryer MP
§ Virendra Sharma MP
§ Andy Slaughter MP
§ Seema Malhotra MP
§ Lord Faulkner
§ Joan Walley MP
§ Kate Hoey MP
§ Baroness Jenny Jones
§ Caroline Lucas MP
§ Dan Byles MP
§ Sir Gerald Howarth MP
§ Lord Soley
The All Party Parliamentary Group also produced these reports, as parts of its response to the Airports Commission: