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Let Britain Fly: The importance of air freight to UK exports

It’s not just businesses and residents in the south east that benefit from new runway capacity. Our campaign group, Let Britain Fly, has recently published a new report with CEBR showing that the Government’s continued failure to get on with building a new runway in the south east is preventing £9.5bn of international trade deals every year.


Businesses across the UK rely on airports to export high-value goods – 40% of our £305bn annual exports. Anything which is valuable, perishable or required just-in-time travels by air, and the majority of those exports leave via London’s airports.

The new research shows that UK plc is missing out huge volumes of trade with the top ten fastest growing emerging market economies because of a lack of runway capacity. For every year that passes without a new runway in operation, the UK loses out on £9.5bn of trade – equivalent to a loss of approximately £1.1 million per hour.

The research was covered in City AM and Building magazine, on Sky News, and in a letter from business leaders in The Guardian.

This latest research demonstrates why it is so important for the new Prime Minister and Cabinet to get on and make a rapid decision on where to build the promised new runway following the Airports Commission’s recommendation last year. We look forward to continuing to work with you in securing a decision in the weeks ahead. If you would like to share the report with your followers on Twitter, please click here to highlight the £1.6bn of potential trade lost every year to London businesses.

Contact: Matthew Hill,

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