Business Chiefs Urge Manifesto Commitments On Airports Expansion
More than fifty senior business leaders from some of Britain’s top firms have called on the UK’s main political parties to offer manifesto commitments to make a quick decision on airports expansion once the Airports Commission makes its final recommendation after the General Election next summer.
The business community is concerned that without such clear pledges there could be a risk of further political procrastination on urgently needed new runway capacity.
Coordinated by campaign group Let Britain Fly the statement has been published to coincide with the launch this week of the Airports Commission’s public consultation on the short-listed options for airports expansion.
The public statement signed by business leaders reads:
“The final proposals for public consultation of the three short-listed options for airports expansion have now been published by the Airports Commission. This follows the key recommendation of the Commission that the South East of England needs at least one new runway by 2030.
“The need for action could not be clearer. Heathrow has been full for a decade, Gatwick will be full by 2020 and most of London’s main airports will be full by the middle of the next decade. Inactivity is costing the UK economy billions in lost trade and investment every year.
“The business community wants airports expansion because our international connectivity is vital to attracting new business to Britain and underpins our economic competitiveness. We trade twenty times more with countries with which we have a direct air link and by value forty per cent of our exports go by air.
“This is why we fully support the work of the Airports Commission and why we are calling on UK political leaders to make firm commitments to take swift and decisive action after the Commission makes its final recommendations next year. We are delighted that a number of senior politicians from across the political spectrum including Ministers and Shadow Ministers have in recent months made clear public statements on the need for airports expansion to support future jobs and growth and to let Britain’s economy fly.
“Now is the time for the main parties to go a step further, by each making a clear manifesto commitment that stipulates they will make a quick decision on airports expansion and agree to be guided by the Airports Commission’s final recommendation.”