Business leaders state case for third Heathrow runway

Thu 13 September 2012, 6:09 pm

Chamber of commerce West London Business has warned that failing to increase capacity at Heathrow Airport in favour of a new air gateway in the Thames Estuary will negatively affect the local economy.

The group, of 800-plus members, said many members had indicated they would close or leave the area if a new hub were constructed elsewhere as an alternative to expanding Heathrow, the Ealing Gazette reported.

Chief executive Frank Wingate said the effect on West London's £37 billion a year economy would be "little short of catastrophic" if focus were switched from Heathrow.

Speaking in the wake of last week's cabinet reshuffle, seen by many as an indication that Prime Minister David Cameron was gearing up for a change of heart over a third runway at Heathrow, Wingate said the choice was between a £10 billion privately funded plan for the existing airport that was "ready to go", and a £50 billion scheme that would take 25 years.

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