CBI chief slams ‘failure of leadership’ after airport expansion decision delay

CBI chief slams ‘failure of leadership’ after airport expansion decision delay

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The head of the CBI has condemned delays to a decision on London’s airport expansion as a “failure of leadership”.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the business lobby group, said: “We need this decision to be taken quickly.”

David Cameron had promised a decision by the end of the year on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow.

But latest reports suggest a decision could be delayed for at least six months.

The BBC cited “senior sources” in government as saying there needs to be more “confidence building” about the environmental impact of a new runway at Heathrow after the option was backed by the Airports Commission in the summer.

Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, Fairbairn said: “Our economy is going to run out of airport capacity in the south by 2025.

“The effect on exports is going to be dramatic, a potential £5 billion lost exports by 2030 if we don’t act. It feels like a real failure of leadership.

“We really need a decision on airport capacity, it’s urgent and it’s not optional.”

Monarch Group chief executive, Andrew Swaffield – who favours expansion of Gatwick – urged the government to “bite the bullet” and make a decision.


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