The issue of Britain’s airport capacity has been placed at the top of the next Government’s agenda by the establishment of the Davies Commission – due to produce its final report in 2015.
The fact that the review should have taken place years ago is no longer the issue. It is critical that when the Davies Commission does report, its recommendations should be acted upon as a matter of urgency.
We recognise that whichever option(s) the Commission settles upon, it will be the subject of debate, controversy, future review, planning and so forth. All of this takes time and in that time the UK’s existing lack of connectivity to key emerging markets will worsen. This graphic highlights our lower connectivity to three out of four of the BRIC economies. Without a change in Britain’s level of airport capacity, this situation will deteriorate. The figures for China are particularly concerning.
In addition to the importance of airport capacity, international hospitality and tourism organisations, and investment funds, monitor carefully the national infrastructure in which they are considering an investment.
Central to their investment decision is the quality of national infrastructure and projected levels of demand or throughput. For example, recent announcements on rail infrastructure by Network Rail and the planned investment in HS2 will be viewed positively by investors. Any suggestion that the UK will be a harder place to travel to in the future will have very damaging consequences for the hospitality and tourism sector and the wider economy.