The Heathrow airport is the 76,600 people work direct on-airport jobs in Heathrow airport and 82% of employees are work as full-time; it creating gross value added of £3.3 billion. However, there are thousands indirect jobs support in the local communities. There are 7,700 people are employed in the local communities which are directly job-related to the Airport Heathrow related employment for approximately 3.4% of the total jobs in London.
The new runway will be built to the North-west of the existing airport which will allow 260,000 more flights to Heathrow by 2030. It can bring up £211 billion of economic growth across to the country and the overall economic benefit from the third runway is £1.4 billion of present value over 60 years. On the other hand, the expansion will support the greatest number of jobs within for UK tourism; Heathrow has committed up to created 77,000 additional local jobs and with 5,000 new apprenticeships by 2030. Additionally, the new runway at Heathrow can increase the number of routes to existing destinations and new places; it can provide better connections from the UK to the world markets with a high value of export after Brexit. The airport expansion also can benefit for passengers have wider choices for time and destinations. There are 6 new regional routes proposed by Heathrow it can reduce delays and have better connections to world-wise destinations; especially flight to or from Asia and South America.
However, the expansion has a negative impact on the two main economic benefit: it might reduce the ground staff employment, increase large number of passengers are transferring between flights and number of short-haul flights might reduce. According to the UK government report, a new runway at Heathrow will provide 75,000 direct jobs and 77,000 additional local jobs by 2030 (Department for Transport, 2016). However, the airline industry continues to grow with a large amount of demand for smart technology. Over 54% of passengers used self-service or automatic check-in in 2017. The increased use for technology can be reduced the personal contact between the airline employees and passengers. The self-check-in service can speed up journey process and improve the passenger experience but make disadvantage for airport employment.
In addition, the facticity of the UK economy game is another debate about the Heathrow expansion. The government report mentions the new runway can provide great global connections; it can bring more than 130 million passengers per year capacity and it would bring economic benefits worth up to £61bn (Department for Transport, 2016). However, the summary of total economic contribution should not only focus on inbound tourism. According to the UK tourism Statistic, the outbound tourists’ expenditure is £26.4 million while the inbound tourists’ expenditure is £22.2 million (UK Tourism Statistic, 2017). In other respects, the daily average total number in London Heathrow airport is 213,668 in 2017 with 51% arrivals and 49% departures. The inbound and outbound tourism data is similar; it too early to make a conclusion for the London Heathrow expansion can bring more tourists to the UK. From above statistic it can know the target set from the UK Government report is not easy to be achieved; After the airport expansion the number of demand and capacity of airport will increase quickly which will put greater pressure on aviation infrastructure and the airport will become more congested. On the other hand, the high-speed rail is another unmeasured factor could affect the economic benefit of London Heathrow Airport. The high-speed rail is more environment-friendly transport with cheaper fares and short journey time to Europe cities. The easy access terminals, good quality of service and high reliability can increase number of short-haul passengers travel by high-speed rail.
Heathrow Airport is one of the most congested airports in the world; the total number of aircraft movements in 2016 was 474,969 which has significant impact on the emission, noise pollution and ground waste (Heathrow Annual report, 2016). Nowadays, about 3.6 million residents are living in nine districts west of London with aircraft noise related to Heathrow Airport in London. While, according to the government report analysis to shows 973,000 households to face increase daytime noise and more than 2 million people would be exposed to additional aircraft noise if Heathrow builds a third runway. The government plan focuses on communities and the environment and spends up to £2.6 billion of noise mitigation and community. The airport has allocated over £700 million to noise insulation. More than 160,000 homes from Richmond to Windsor could need the extra form of noise insulation. Additionally, noise impact on people physical and mental health; the aircraft noise can lead to short-term responses for sleep disturbance, annoyance and learning impairment. While the long-term it affects health problem with blood pressure, heart disease, hearing loss and dementia.
Moreover, the air transport contributes to local and global atmospheric pollution through the burning of fossil fuels, it releases of carbon dioxide (co2) and other greenhouse gases widely which can lead to the most health harmful and climate change (Holden, 2016). The airline industry contributes more CO2 than any other form of transport. The Department for Transport estimates in 2010 Heathrow flights emitted 18.8 million tons of CO2 which share 56% of the UK aviation total of 33.4 million tons of CO2. The UK’s Carbon Price increase from £9/t CO2 to £18/t Co2 in 2015. Over the long term, a price floor targeting £30/t Co2 in 2020 and will rise to £70/t CO2 in 2030 (House of Commons Library, 2018, b). The carbon emissions from airport operations include emissions from electricity, fuel and gas. It used 2010 data for instance, Heathrow airport it charged more than £330 million under the Climate Change Levy as more CO2 emitted. Also, the annual CO2 emissions are forecast to be 37.0Mt by 2050; the new runways estimated an additional 1.5 to 2.9 Mt Co2. The carbon prices will rise every year until 2020, it meant the Heathrow Airport will increase many aspects costs for expansion.