Chamber Survey Finds Support For Airport Expansion

Many businesses in the borough believe it would benefit them

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Hounslow Chamber of Commerce has said that a recent survey of local businesses shows that a majority support the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

The Chamber has organised an information meeting on April 30th to discuss the aviation issue from a business perspective and is preparing its response to the Davies Commission.

The Chamber 's survey showed more than 76% of respondants confirmed that they would support expansion with comments including:
“Any business can only expand to survive. Contraction or staying still leads to decay or demise” and
“Heathrow is a Hub for a lot of local companies and HQ's.

The survey showed a response rate of 21% which the Chamber said they were pleased with.

Those surveyed believed that expansion would allow future growth for the companies that supply to these headquarters. Accessibility into London was also seen as a key benefit. Local infrastructure was already in place and the cheapest form of expansion would be on an existing site with a highly trained workforce already in place, they believed.

The survey also asked questions about employment levels and the local business access to the supply chain in Hounslow.

Opposition to Heathrow expansion is coming to a head with a major rally planned in Barnes this weekend attended by local MPs including Zac Goldsmith and Mary Macleod along with the Mayor Boris Johnston.

And Hounslow Council and campaign group HACAN this week finalised their responses to the consultation being carried out on airport expansion, with both calling for an immediate end to night flights.

The Chamber of Commerce said that those businesses who opposed expansion were of the view that it would make traffic congestion, pollution and noise even worse in the area around Heathrow.

“I feel that expansion is not the way forward in helping the local business community grow.
“Expanding one of the other London airports would be preferable”, said one respondant.

The Chamber of Commerce says that 55% of businesses who responded to the survey said that they had located their firms deliberately to benefit from the business that comes through or from Heathrow or the supply chain.

When asked how they would react if Heathrow closed one respondent suggested that it would be a: “catastrophic downturn in business turnover - of at least two thirds”.

The full report will be published at a later date.

Chamber Chief Executive, Stephen Fry said: “I am extremely pleased at the response rate of 21%, which proves once again that Hounslow Businesses are ready to engage in sensible economic discussions. This information gives us a good starting place as we prepare for our information giving event on April 30th which will result in the Chamber publishing an informed position and Policy Statement for the Davies Commission”

The Chamber's “Go or Grow” information Breakfast will be held on April 30th at REGUS Heathrow located at 450 Bath Road, Longford, UB7 0EB

The event will take place from 8.00 am – 10.00 am on 30th April. To book a place for this breakfast event or to receive more information about Hounslow Chamber please contact Sally Smith 020 8326 6416

April 23, 2013