1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
More than half a million additional jobs in the UK tourism sector will be lost if extra runways are not built in the next 15 years, warns pro-aviation coalition FlyingMatters.
International visitor numbers to the UK are forecast to more than double by 2030, from 32m last year to 82m. With each traveller spending an average ”490 ($1,012) - excluding their air fare and Air Passenger Duty - that generates an extra ”40bn, enough to sustain a further 500,000 jobs in the industry.
”Visitor numbers are growing fast and the UK is set to be one of the main beneficiaries,” said FlyingMatters chairman, Brian Wilson.
”If the UK does not have the infrastructure to accommodate this growth, tourists will not stop flying, they will simply fly ” and spend their money ” elsewhere.
”There would be no environmental gain and only economic pain.”
By 2030 the Government wants three new runways, with one in Scotland and two in the south east ” including a third at Heathrow. The latter is currently operating at near-full capacity on two runways, with delays to passengers becoming ever more frequent.
By comparison, two of its main European competitors ” Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle ” use six and four runways respectively.
But the airport expansion plans have been attacked by environmental campaigners ” and the main opposition parties - because of the forecast increase in carbon emissions, even though aviation still only accounts for 1.6% of global CO2 emissions.
And Wilson countered: ”The vast majority of people accept a sustainable growth ” such as that set out by the Stern report. It makes no sense to foster delays, discomfort and higher prices for travellers by denying the need for new infrastructure.”