Single UK hub airport 'key for NI trade'

Published Thursday, 15 November 2012
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A single UK hub airport is vital to link Northern Ireland with emerging economies such as Brazil and China, the Chamber of Commerce has claimed.

Single UK hub airport 'key for NI trade'
Heathrow Airport in London. (© Getty)

Heathrow chiefs want to see an extra runway at the west London airport but this has been ruled out for now by Westminster, amid calls for alternative airfields to be developed.

Ann McGregor from the NI Chamber of Commerce agrees with Heathrow that one hub is vital if local firms are to forge trade connections.

She said: "To support trade and Northern Ireland's economy, it is vital for our firms to have connections to these emerging markets.

"As today's report shows, a single hub airport is the only viable option to make this a reality."

The report from Heathrow claims lack of capacity is already costing the UK up to £14bn per year in lost trade, adding that the figure could rise to £26bn by 2030.

Some residents and environmentalists oppose the addition of runways.

However Ms McGregor said increased overseas trade will be vital for the NI economy in years to come and will rebalance an overreliance on the public sector.

She continued: "While firms are being urged to trade with new partners in emerging markets, they are hindered by the lack of connections to these countries, in turn hurting both inward investment and Britain's export potential.

"This is a real issue for Northern Ireland as we have dozens of members that trade with or aspire to do business with the likes of Brazil, India and China."

© UTV News
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5 Comments
Paul in London wrote (764 days ago):
@T J McClean, Dublin has a fantastic airport. 2 huge Terminals. Airport food prices well, its the same everywhere whether its Dublin or Heathrow or any other Hub. With Dublin you have destinations all over the world. non stop to the US one stop to Australia of Asia. In my travels Dublin airport is one of the best airports in the world. The only thing it is missing is a rail service to the city. But i have read they have a €5 billion underground line planned for the future along with a 3rd terminal.
T J McClean in Belfast wrote (764 days ago):
My experience of Dublin were that it was a 2 hour drive away. airport eateries were a deliberate rip-off, being a hugely overpriced monopoly and car parking charges were beyond reason. Oh and the air terminal access was a building site. (But perhaps things have changed for the better.) I like to use the local city Belfast airport and so do many others judging by it's success.
Paul in Belfast wrote (764 days ago):
It's about time we had just one airport serving Belfast instead of one modern but cramped terminal in East Belfast and one dated but larger under-used building at Aldergrove. Bigger Airports attract more Airlines, plane and simple, look at other airports around the world. Berlin, a city of 3.5 million which had 3 airports serving the city is in the process of closing 2, and building the new Berlin-Brandenburg airport on the old Shoenenfeld site. Belfast is simply not big enough for 2 airports 14 miles apart. The City Airport should never have been allowed to grow to what it is today. The one airport should be located at Aldergrove, with no noise restrictions, opperating 24/7, 2 runways and situated close to Belfast but also centrally located to all in Northern Ireland with the nearby railway line which could enable high speed rail links to Belfast, Londonderry and Lisburn. Of course the managment of Belfast City Airport will cry people prefer to fly from an airport close to the city centre..... all very well if you live in Central or East Belfast. No doubt the public would prefer an extra 20 minutes drive up the M2 and a direct long haul flight from Belfast rather than change aircraft in London, but as long as we have 2 airports more long haul flights are unlikely to happen.
Alister Cheyne in Carrickfergus wrote (765 days ago):
It's about time this issue came to a head. Having 3 airports in NI leaves us as a standing joke within business circles around Europe. Dublin has a single airport to serve a population almost 4 times bigger than Belfast and we are suffering immensely as a result of not having a decent scheduled route network to Europe,N. America and beyond. Tourism is the biggest growth industry that NI will have for at least the next 25 to 30 years but there's no point if there's not the air routes to serve the province! We need to be punching above our weight in this division and it is doable!
Marty in Singapore wrote (765 days ago):
My experiences of travelling from Asia to Ireland is simple, Dublin! Dublin has a fantastic new terminal 2 with non stop north America services and 1 stop asian services with Aer Lingus, Etihad or Emirates. Or Asia 2 stops via the equally clean & modern Frankfurt, paris or Amsterdam. Heathrow is a very dirty over crowded expensive dump! A terrible experience! BFS or BHD need a reliable full service airline to serve a major European hub, forget "Thief-row"
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