Further Heathrow delay a huge blow, say small firms


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) claims the Court of Appeal’s ruling on Heathrow’s plans to build a third runway “will be disappointing to many small businesses”.

The runway could still be built, if updated plans take climate change into account – but the government will not appeal the recent ruling in the Supreme Court.

FSB national chair, Mike Cherry, said: “It is a blow to small firms who need greater regional and global connectivity, as well as more opportunities to export. Thousands also rely on air travel to develop new contacts and visit clients.

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“With two thirds of the UK’s air freight already travelling via Heathrow, and the airport already running at full capacity for years, expansion would have boosted exports and connected our world-beating businesses to new markets.

“The current constraints on capacity at Heathrow, operating at 98% of permitted runway throughput since 2005, makes expanding capacity essential. Additional airport capacity is clearly in the long-term interest of the UK economy and strong infrastructure is vital – not only for aviation, but also for rail and roads.

“However, it is important that any decisions made have the climate in mind and small businesses are always conscious to help the environment the best way they can.”

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