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Paul Cherpeau responds to future expansion plans of Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Paul Cherpeau, Chief Executive of Liverpool Chamber responds to Liverpool John Lennon Airport future expansion plans – “Let’s work with it, not against it.”

Liverpool John Lennon Airport is a crucial piece of connectivity infrastructure in the Liverpool City Region. Prior to the pandemic it was servicing close to 5m people every year and for the past decade has been instrumental in stimulating inbound and outbound connectivity and investment among leisure and business travellers across the world.

Any decision to unilaterally stop the potential for future expansion of the Airport would be short-sighted and ignore the positive impact our airport has – and can continue to have – on our City.

The aviation industry is correctly under pressure to reduce its carbon impact and the pending changes required for the industry will inevitably drive innovative solutions and the attainment of ‘Jet Zero’ but these will take time. The pursuit of a net zero economy in Liverpool City Region will inevitably require overhauling the way we do things and making difficult choices. Yet the city’s airport is far from our biggest issue and it should not be used as a convenient lightning rod amidst the range of other transformational actions required.

The creation of any perceived ‘anti-airport’ sentiment and dialogue by city region leaders, politicians and partners should be avoided. We should be working collaboratively with our Airport, using it as a tool of our economic recovery and rebuild whilst ensuring it minimises its overall environmental impact.

Having just announced a new route to Frankfurt with ongoing connectivity to global destinations and the attraction of Lufthansa as a new carrier, as well as attracting unprecedented applicants for jobs across the estate, the Airport has the capability of recovering from a devastating two years to servicing future passenger, business and freight demand and ensuring Liverpool retains its status as a global city. Let’s work with it, not against it.