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  • Heathrow
    Heathrow
    Latest news,

    Whilst aviation specific support is welcome, Government’s announcement regarding business rates grants for English airports on 24 November falls short of providing Heathrow with any significant support, at a time the business remains crippled by an ongoing and catastrophic slump in passenger numbers.

    Although the policy represents a lifeline for smaller airports, it fails in providing any significant relief for larger airports across the UK, which are so crucial to providing the international connectivity needed by the UK after Brexit.  The decision to cap support for individual airports at £8 million represents a small portion of the annual business rates at Heathrow. Government support will provide a 7% alleviation on our total bill. whilst passenger numbers have reduced by 82%. Heathrow is one of the UK's largest business rates payers, with an annual bill of around £120 million.

    Despite suffering a £1.5 billion loss in the first nine months of this year due to travel restrictions and delayed government's response to COVID-19 testing, Heathrow will continue to pay a large majority of this sum, as a result of the government failing to assess the contribution paid by airports on a case by case basis. 

    Whilst we welcome the Government's recognition that airports have been devastated by COVID-19, today's announcement doesn't go far enough. The proposed reduction in business rates for Heathrow is only 7%, compared to an 82% reduction in passengers.

    John Holland-Kaye , Chief Executive Officer

     

    Full quote from Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye:
    While we welcome the Government’s recognition that airports have been devastated by COVID-19 and are struggling to survive under the burden of massive rates bills, today’s announcement doesn’t go far enough. The proposed reduction in business rates for Heathrow is only 7%, compared to an 82% reduction in passenger numbers. Small airports in England, and all airports in Scotland and Northern Ireland have had a 100% waiver from business rates – even the big supermarkets, which are booming, have enjoyed 100% waiver from business rates. The Government’s proposed approach is discriminatory against large airports, and we will now carefully consider our next steps.