Nov 15 2012 By Jack Griffith
A SINGLE hub airport for the UK is the only solution to the country's aviation crisis, according to a report compiled by Heathrow.
Heathrow, now a stand-alone company after the British Airports Authority (BAA) name was shed last month, has waded into the aviation debate, and in a report entitled 'One Hub or None', has stated that a single hub destination, either at an expanded Heathrow or an all-new airport, is the only way to address the capacity constraints.
Splitting air traffic and providing a high speed link between Heathrow and Gatwick - 'Heathwick' - or operating two separate hubs would be costly, and is 'not a credible solution'.
A hub airport connects smaller regional airports to major destinations, and Heathrow is one of the world's busiest, and the UK's only hub airport.
The report, published today (Thursday), adds that Heathrow is operating at nearly full capacity and cannot accommodate new routes, and it warns that each year that the government delays a decision on expanding hub capacity in the south-east, is costing the country up to £14billion in lost trade.
This figure could rise to £26billion by 2030, insists the airport.
Heathrow has created around 114,000 jobs, directly and indirectly, and 22 per cent of these employees are from the surrounding areas, including Hillingdon.
If a new hub airport was built elsewhere that replaced Heathrow, this would have 'big implications' for jobs in West London.
Colin Matthews, Heathrows Chief Executive, said: "If anyone was still in doubt about the importance of aviation to the UK economy, todays report should lay those doubts to rest.
"Only a single hub airport can meet the UK's connectivity needs."
Heathrow serves 75 destinations worldwide that are not linked by any other UK airport, but is limited in its service to emerging trade nations, such as China, that other European hubs such as Paris and Frankfurt now fly to.