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Do the Hassle!

Stephen Beard Jul 30, 2007


Doug Krizner: The British government is worried London’s status as a financial center could suffer because of problems at the city’s main airport. The government believes foreign business leaders might be turned off by long delays at Heathrow. We have more from Stephen Beard.

Stephen Beard: Passengers call it the “Heathrow Hassle”— the airport’s long delays.

Now the British government has joined the chorus of criticism. A key minister says she’s worried that multinationals could be deterred from bringing their business to London because of the time their staff will waste at Heathrow.

Heightened security is one part of the problem. The airport’s sprawling lay out is another.

Critics say Heathrow hasn’t invested enough to cope with current levels of traffic. Sally Low of the British Chambers of Commerce says this could drive foreign companies away.

Sally Low: There’s no doubt that this situation is going to cause damage to business. We want an airport to meet the demands of doing business in the 21st Century.

Heathrow is already beginning to lose passengers to other big European airports. Heathrow’s traffic fell 1.2% in the first half of this year.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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