The investment is due to be spent in 2019, the year the UK leaves the EU. It is being seen as an example that the international financial community still has significant confidence in the UK as an investment destination post-Brexit.
Heathrow Airport is a vital gateway for the UK, with 75 million passengers annually. In addition to handling 26% of UK exports by value per year, the airport also handles more freight by value than all of the other UK airports combined. It also handles 31% of the UK’s non-EU trade, so will be a vital link in UK infrastructure should the trade negotiations between the UK and EU not prove to be successful. Therefore, the investment is seen to be not only in the airport but also in Britain as a whole.
This current investment is aimed at enhancing passenger experience at the airport and improving resilience, helping the airport to boost its ability to deal with growing demand for its services. The money will be spent enabling works for the expansion of Terminal 2 and planning works for a new access tunnel for road traffic.
The international consortium of investors behind the airport has been responsible for nearly £11 billion of private investment into Heathrow over the last decade. The airport is also earmarked for significant future expansion with a third runway, which would bring economic benefits to the wider economy worth approximately £60 billion. It would also create up to 77,000 additional local jobs over the next 14 years, including 5000 apprenticeships. The decision on this expansion is due in 2020, with the third runway in use by 2025.