Business leaders urge government to fast-track airport expansion

Business leaders urge government to fast-track airport expansion

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The new government is being urged to fast-track airport expansion.

The call comes from 100 business leaders in a statement issued today by the pro-expansion campaign group Let Britain Fly.

If politicians fail to act decisively on the final recommendation of the Airports Commission, they risk Britain’s global competitiveness and future growth, the business chiefs warn.

The Commission is expected to deliver its final recommendations by the end of June having shortlisted Heathrow or Gatwick for expansion

The leaders of many FTSE 100 firms have signed the Let Britain Fly statement alongside the heads of business organisations including the British Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and London First.

Those calling for action include British Hospitality Association chief executive Ufi Ibrahim, British Airlines Pilots Association general secretary Jim McAuslan, Guild of Travel Management Companies chairman Paul Wait, Stewart Travel director Willie Stewart, Barrhead Travel chairman Bill Munro, InterContinental Hotels chief executive Richard Solomans and Board of Airline Representatives in the UK chief executive Dale Keller.

Let Britain Fly director, Gavin Hayes, said: “The new government should use its fresh mandate and make a bold and early decision to build a new runway.

“With all of London’s airports forecast to be full by 2030, kicking the can down the road is no longer an option.

“This will be one of the first big issues that will test whether the government is capable of making strategic decisions in the national interest.

“The Conservatives pledged in their manifesto they would ‘respond to the Airports Commission’s final report’, to maintain the trust and confidence of the business community it’s essential that response is both positive and timely. 

“After almost three years of debating the issue in a Commission decision-day is fast approaching.”


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