Business leaders call for swift decision on new runway

Business leaders call for swift decision on new runwayImage via Shutterstock

More than 50 of Britain’s top business leaders are calling for a swift decision on the construction of a new runway in the southeast to avoid long-term damage to the UK economy.

The group of influential City figures have signed a statement from the Let Britain Fly campaign urging the main political parties to make manifesto commitments on a quick decision on airport expansion.

They include InterContinental Hotels chief executive Richard Solomons, British Hospitality Association chief executive Ufi Ibrahim and Institute of Directors director general Simon Walker.

“The need for action could not be clearer,” the joint statement, published in the Daily Telegraphtoday says.

“Heathrow has been full for a decade, Gatwick will be full by 2020 and most of London’s airports will be full by the middle of the next decade.

“Inactivity is costing our economy billions in lost trade and investment.

“The business community wants expansion because our international connectivity is vital to attracting new business and underpins our competitiveness.

“We trade 20 times more with countries with which we have a direct air link and by value 40% of exports go by air.”

The letter follows the Airports Commission starting a three-month public consultation on three proposals for a new runway – two separate ones to expand Heathrow and a second runway at Gatwick.

Expanding Gatwick would be the cheapest option at a cost of £9.3 billion with the most expensive proposal for enlarging Heathrow coming in at £18.6 billion.

But the economic benefits from Heathrow would be more than double its rival, commission chairman Sir Howard Davies found.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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