CBI warns further delay in Heathrow expansion could cost £5.3bn to economy

8 December 2015 (Last Updated December 8th, 2015 18:30)

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned that any further decision delay in the expansion of Heathrow Airport could cost £5.3bn to the economy.

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The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned that any further decision delay in the expansion of Heathrow Airport could cost £5.3bn to the economy.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said: "Now is the time for real leadership on expanding the UK's aviation capacity. A decision from the government to commit to delivering a new runway will provide an enormous boost to Britain's workers, makers and exporters.

"Failure to have a new runway up and running by 2030 will cost the UK as much as £5.3bn billion a year in lost trade to the Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) countries alone."

"We're confident in our new plan. And what Britain needs now is certainty from government - let's get on and build a better future."

In July, a third runway was recommended at the Heathrow Airport by the Airports Commission following a three-year study. The study looked at various options, including a second runway at Gatwick and a new airport, to expand the country's aviation capacity.

The much awaited expansion project has been opposed by various environment groups as well as individuals including London mayor Boris Johnson who claimed in a dossier sent to MPs that the expansion will result in subjecting the residents living under the flight paths to increased noise pollution.

Johnson observed that the number of people affected due to these environmental issues will increase by 250,000 to reach one million.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister's own Airports Commission confirmed in July that expanding Heathrow would have the biggest economic benefits for the UK and can be done while reducing noise for local communities and within EU air quality limits.

"We're confident in our new plan. And what Britain needs now is certainty from government - let's get on and build a better future."

Estimated to require an investment of £22.6bn, the proposed expansion is expected to add £147bn to the economy and create 70,000 jobs by 2050.


Image: Delay in the expansion of Heathrow Airport could cost £5.3bn to the economy, says CIB. Photo: courtesy of Heathrow Airport.