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Bosses From Britain’s Top Companies Call For ‘Quick Decision On Airports Expansion’

Bosses From Britain’s Top Companies Call For ‘Quick Decision On Airports Expansion’

Bosses From Britain’s Top Companies Call For ‘Quick Decision On Airports Expansion’

Sixty business leaders, including many from FTSE 100 listed companies, have signed a statement calling on political parties to offer manifesto commitments that pledge ‘a quick decision on airports expansion’.

The statement, coordinated by pro-expansion group Let Britain Fly, has been published to coincide with the end of the Airports Commission’s public consultation on the three short-listed options for airports expansion.

On releasing the statement Gavin Hayes, Director of Let Britain Fly said: “On modernising our airports infrastructure the voice of business is clear, we want UK political leaders to commit in their manifestos to a quick decision on airports expansion, such a pledge will be critical to parties seeking to win the trust and confidence of the business community at the forthcoming election.”

The statement reads: “This week the Airports Commission’s public consultation on the three short-listed options for airports expansion came to an end after a highly contested debate.

We support the Commission in reflecting on its findings and coming up with the right evidence-based solution. However we are concerned that unless politicians act swiftly on airports expansion, the growing cost of deferring a strategy to deliver new runways, which is costing our economy billions in trade and investment, will only increase.

This debate isn’t just about where we lay three thousand metres of concrete for a runway, it’s about how we secure our future economic prosperity. The fact is the UK trades twenty times more with countries with which we have a direct air link and forty per cent of our exports by value go by air.

The need for additional runway capacity could not be more evident. Heathrow has been full for a decade, Gatwick will be full by 2020 and all of London’s main airports will be at near full capacity by the end of the 2020s without new runways.

Meanwhile our global competitors are racing ahead. By 2036 the world’s major cities are likely to have built over fifty new runways, providing an additional one billion passenger journeys a year. China alone will have built seventeen new runways, whilst the new Dubai World Central airport will provide more capacity than all of London’s airports combined.

Only last month Dubai International overtook Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport, evidence that Britain is already becoming progressively less competitive as a global aviation hub. Indeed, as any good business person knows, those who stand still get left behind.

This is why we believe that ahead of the General Election, political parties should publicly commit in their manifestos to ‘a quick decision on airports expansion guided by the Commission’s final recommendations’. When it comes to airports expansion it’s time for less political conversation and more political action.”

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