As the Airports Commission consultation closes on 'Increasing the UK's long-term aviation capacity', seeking views on the three shortlisted options for a new runway in the south east of England, KPMG's Global Head of Aviation, James Stamp, highlights that UK needs to take action to defend and grow its competitive position. He said:
"The debate about new runways in the UK is not just about where to lay 3000 metres of concrete; it is a debate that is fundamentally about how we secure our future economic prosperity. Within a decade, over half of global growth will be driven by emerging economies, and we need to make sure we are connected to that growth engine. How do we do that if London airports are full? As things stand, Paris, for example, already has 50 per cent more flights to China than London, and will only get worse without action.
"London currently leads the world in terms of investment and trade, with benefits to the whole of the UK. But by 2036, the largest cities in China alone will have built 17 new runways with capacity for 400 million additional passenger journeys. Every delayed investment decision makes the UK a little less relevant, and a little less connected on the world stage.
"UK PLC will therefore only benefit from the work of the Commission if action is taken. If we build the infrastructure, it will allow us to connect to world growth. So while we welcome the work of the commission, we emphasise the need for a political commitment to get shovels in the ground."