Heathrow pledges Ayrshire connection

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Heathrow has pledged to the people and businesses of Ayrshire that if the Westminster government gives permission for a third runway, it will connect them to new destinations across the world.

Heathrow advised a meeting of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce that business needs to ensure its interests are being taken into account by the independent Airports Commission which has been set up by the government.

Heathrow has committed to working with airlines and relevant government agencies to better connect all the parts of the UK, including Ayrshire, with global markets, offering new opportunities for jobs and trade, if the expansion is allowed.

During the breakfast meeting, Heathrow’s Richard Scott explained the importance of connections between local and regional economies and the UK’s hub airport.

He said: “Nearly 2.4 million international visitors help support Scotland’s thriving travel and tourism sector, with 90% of visitors arriving by air. A third runway at Heathrow would allow airlines to offer more flights between Scotland and the UK’s hub, opening up trading opportunities across the world and giving a boost to economic growth and employment across Ayrshire and Scotland.”

He added that one in 17 jobs in Scotland are at foreign-owned firms which need a hub airport to connect with their parent company and said expanding the UK’s hub, Heathrow, will encourage inward foreign investment and benefit people across Britain.

Valerie Russell, Chief Executive of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “With international trade being a key element for business growth in Ayrshire and indeed Scotland any improvement in the movement of goods is welcome. We absolutely want better connections from Heathrow to regional airports and in our case particularly Prestwick.”