GTMC frustration over southeast runway decision delay

GTMC frustration over southeast runway decision delay

The leader of the UK’s business travel trade body has voiced concerns over possible delays to the process of agreeing UK airport expansion.

Paul Wait, chief executive of the Guild of Travel Management Companies, spoke out amid reports that the government will not provide a response to the Airport Commission’s recommendations until the end of the year.

The Commission’s report is due within weeks, having already shortlisted two options for expanding Heathrow and a second runway at Gatwick.

Meanwhile, a campaign group opposed to the expansion of Heathrow yesterday threatened legal action over the process.

The Teddington Action Group claimed there had not been sufficient time to give further evidence to the commission over air pollution and it was considering launching a judicial review into the process.

Spokesman Paul McGuinness told the BBC: "The lack of proper engagement by the Commission led by Sir Howard Davies in relation to the latest air quality consultation is unacceptable and local people should be consulted in a meaningful way on an issue that directly impacts their health and wellbeing."

Wait said: “It is disappointing and frustrating to hear that a decision on additional airport capacity may be subject to further debate and delay.

“The findings of the Davies Commission report have been long awaited particularly by business travellers.

“The fact that we might have to wait even longer for a decision and therefore additional airport capacity means that in turn we have to wait even longer to realise opportunities for growth abroad.

“As a result we run the risk of the UK losing its competitive edge in the global marketplace – a risk the UK government and UK business cannot afford to take.”

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