Events industry backs Heathrow expansion

Following recommendations from the Airports Commission to expand Heathrow airport, the events industry has expressed support for the proposals.

Events industry backs Heathrow expansion (©istockphoto.com)
Events industry backs Heathrow expansion (©istockphoto.com)

The commission, led by Howard Davies, has concluded that the south-west London airport is the most economically viable space for an additional runway. Though the proposals will mean the loss of up to 750 homes and potential noise pollution for thousands, an expansion at Heathrow would lead to more job creation and greater profits, compared to an expansion at Gatwick.

"A political decision needs to be made," said Simon Hughes, vice chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP). "If Heathrow has been recommended for expansion then it’s something the events industry should get behind. At the moment we’re at a massive disadvantage because we’re not getting enough traffic in or out." He added that in terms of economic impact, the case for Heathrow’s growth was strong.

Dale Parmenter, group CEO of drp, also supported the proposals. "It’s great for the industry, although I’m slightly concerned about the infrastructure. They need to ensure we have the roads and public transport system to support it."

Parmenter agreed that Heathrow was the strongest choice, with rival airports lagging behind in infrastructure and convenience. "We often use Heathrow for event groups as it’s efficient and offers our delegates the experience they’re looking for. Maybe other airports can use this an incentive to improve."

If the proposals go ahead, it could provide a boost to international events, increasing the number of incentive trips and conferences abroad.

"With incentives and meetings it’s all about access," explained Nicola Alexander, business development director for MICE, Europe at Travel Alberta. "More capacity can only be a good thing for the industry - it will drive down prices and put more destinations on the map."

However, she admitted she had reservations regarding the social and environmental impact of the expansion. "I do feel conflicted as I can understand the points against it: loss of homes, pressure on London infrastructure and more pollution. Overall though, I think the economic benefits will outweigh the negatives." 

More:

State of the Industry 2015: London remains top UK destination for planners

State of the Industry 2015: Incentives and roadshows on the rise

C&I industry wary of Tunisia following attacks

• For more breaking news, as well as in-depth features and case studies, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
3 days left for entries to C&IT Awards

3 days left for entries to C&IT Awards

The deadline to enter the C&IT Awards is 11.59pm on Thursday 27 June, so get your submissions in!

'You can only plan 95% of an event, there's 5% you can never predict'

'You can only plan 95% of an event, there's 5% you can never predict'

A-List 2019: Abigail White, event manager, OrangeDoor.

Conference and meeting spend in UK increases by £1.9 billion

Conference and meeting spend in UK increases by £1.9 billion

Research commissioned by Visit Britain finds MICE sector in good health, with the number of meetings at venues also rising.

4 pitching tips agencies need to know

4 pitching tips agencies need to know

The pitch can be your one chance to prove your credentials so certain elements are essential, says creative director of Timebased.

'If agencies paid more attention to training they would have a higher retention rate'

'If agencies paid more attention to training they would have a higher retention rate'

A-List 2019: Sam Ward, lead projects & event manager, Brandfuel.

In pictures: The first ever C&IT Summit

In pictures: The first ever C&IT Summit

London's Congress Centre hosted an industry gathering featuring panel debates, networking and virtual reality.

Winners of Best Places to Work 2019 revealed

Winners of Best Places to Work 2019 revealed

Best Places to Work award winners and top 20 agencies announced at C&IT Summit drinks reception in central London.

The Hague: A global innovation and events hub

Driving innovation is a key theme for many business events and conferences, and brands looking for a destination with an open-minded and entrepreneurial spirit to amplify that message should head to The Hague.

'The industry is so wasteful, it's a shame'

'The industry is so wasteful, it's a shame'

A-List 2019: Smyle's production manager Nick Thomas.

48 hours in... Wales

48 hours in... Wales

Two days of meetings and activities in wonderful Wales, from Chateau Rhianfa to gorge-walking.

LATEST JOBS