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Importance of Northern Ireland access to Heathrow. Alan Walker General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland 4 May 2004. “ Making the consumer voice heard – and making it count ”. Contents. Current situation Importance of Heathrow to Northern Ireland What we want done.

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Importance of Northern Ireland access to Heathrow


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    1. Importance of Northern Ireland access to Heathrow Alan Walker General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland 4 May 2004

    2. “Making the consumer voice heard – and making it count”

    3. Contents • Current situation • Importance of Heathrow to Northern Ireland • What we want done

    4. Current Situation • NI consumers have a high propensity to fly despite significantly lower incomes • Northern Ireland has access to all five London airports • Belfast Heathrow services have fallen from 15 to 8 since 2001 • Approx 25% of Belfast-Heathrow passengers are interlining • Lack of direct air services • Vast majority of new growth ‘no frills’ or ‘hybrid’ airlines

    5. Importance of Heathrow to Northern Ireland • National integration • Business Travellers • Northern Ireland Economy • Tourism

    6. National Integration • Regional peripherality - Northern Ireland and other peripheral regions should have access to UK’s main hub airports • Social inclusion • Lack of interlining opportunities at other London airports • Northern Ireland consumers have no realistic travel alternative to LHR

    7. Business Travellers • Northern Ireland manufacturers spend £33m per year of which 58% is on air travel • 70% of business travel in financial & business sector and 93% in construction sector is by air • Important markets in USA, Canada, Australia • Growing importance to all business sectors.

    8. Importance of LHR to NI business Source: Oxford Economic Forecasting, Northern Ireland Air Services Study

    9. Northern Ireland Economy • 39% of Northern Ireland manufacturing sales are to the rest of the world • 19% in UK as a whole • NI employment over dependent on slow/low growth sectors i.e agriculture, textiles, public administration • Inward investment • Impact of tourism

    10. Tourism • 250,000 overseas residents use Heathrow to enter NI. 8 times more likely to use LHR than any other airport • Over 450,000 UK passengers use Heathrow to access NI • Huge growth opportunities • Need to get people to Northern Ireland rather than visiting it

    11. Out of state visitors - 2000 Source: Oxford Economic Forecasting, Northern Ireland Air Services Study

    12. Out of state visitors - 2000 Source: Oxford Economic Forecasting, Northern Ireland Air Services Study

    13. What we want done • Urgent Government action to change PSO rules at EU level • Region to specified airport designation required • Reservation of slots for regions • Protection now and in the future • Airlines that currently provide regional access should not be unfairly penalised

    14. Conclusions • Heathrow is of utmost importance to Northern Ireland • Market is not the appropriate mechanism to decide • Government need to take steps to secure regional access now and in the future

    15. Thank you