The long awaited SERAS report into air transport in the UK has ruled out either expansion of Heathrow or Gatwick in the foreseeable future.
It has also ruled out any new airports such as the proposals for Cliffe. Instead Stanstead, Birmingham and Manchester will all be developed further. This is bad news for the south-east in general and particularly for Brighton & Hove because it means that there will be less opportunity for business travel from Gatwick, particularly business travel to UK destinations. Airlines will opt for the more lucrative longer haul holiday flight destinations to fill their allocated slots.
It also means that Brighton & Hove and the surrounding area will be less attractive for companies that engage in international business. A glimmer of hope is contained in the suggestion that Gatwick could be developed if it transpires that Heathrow is unable to meet the strict environmental limits on emissions imposed by the EU.
Early in the new year the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership will be conducting a survey of businesses in the city to determine how important air travel (and rail travel) is to their operation.
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