UK businesses urge politicians to resolve impasse over London airport expansion

12 November 2014 (Last Updated November 12th, 2014 18:30)

A number of UK business figures have come together to urge politicians to solve the dispute over the expansion of London's airports.

ac

A number of UK business figures have come together to urge politicians to solve the dispute over the expansion of London's airports.

Pressure group Let Britain Fly has coordinated a letter with 50 senior executives that has been sent to the Financial Times and Daily Telegraph, asking political parties to reach a decision on the pending expansions.

The Airports Commission launched a 12-week consultation programme that would invite public views about expanding either the Heathrow or Gatwick airport.

The commission is currently studying the feasibility of three expansion projects, including two for expansion at Heathrow Airport and one proposal at Gatwick Airport.

"Inactivity is costing the UK economy billions in lost trade and investment."

The decision has been pending for years due to political delays and rows. However, the commission has stated that it will come out with a final decision just after next May's elections.

Commenting on the launch of the public consultation by the commission, Let Britain Fly president Gavin Hayes said: "We welcome the public consultation on airports expansion, however none of the proposals will get off the ground without the clear political will to get on and do something.

"In order to maintain the trust and confidence of the business community we would therefore like to see the main parties offer manifesto commitments to make a quick decision on airports expansion in a timely fashion following the election, guided by the Airports Commission's final recommendation."

Some of the people to have signed the letter are Amec chief executive Samir Brikho, Institute of Directors director-general Simon Walker, InterContinental Hotels Group chief executive Richard Solomons and Legal and General chairman John Stewart.

The letter was quoted by the Financial Times as saying: "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."


Image: UK businesses have demanded a firm commitment from politicians regarding airport expansion. Photo: courtesy of Airports Commission.