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Dismay over no decisive decision on Heathrow

Today’s announcement that the Government is to defer a final decision on expansion at Heathrow has received strong criticism from international airlines and the GTMC.  

Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR UK said “Our airline members are dismayed that the uncertainty and indecision over expanding Heathrow is set to continue into next summer for what appears to be local political reasons, rather than the need for further environmental analysis.

"The Airports Commission spent almost three years - and £20 million, to produce the most detailed independent report of its type ever commissioned. It therefore seems inconceivable that the Government has had insufficient time, or a lack of information, to make the decision it long promised. 

“The world’s airlines need certainty to invest in the UK and we urge the Government to urgently come to a decision since every week that passes has a direct cost to the UK economy, its international connectivity and reputation”.

Paul Wait, CEO, The GTMC, comments, “An additional six month wait for a firm decision, let alone action, on the issue of airport expansion is detrimental to the health of UK plc and this further procrastination is incredibly frustrating, to put it mildly. Especially after George Osborne claimed at the recent Conservative party conference that this Government is one of action with the statement, “We are the builders”. Quite frankly it seems that short term political interests in London are being prioritised above the long-term national interest and it is vital that this does not happen.

“There is a very real and urgent need for airport expansion in the South East. Additional capacity for flights from the UK to long-haul destinations and the emerging markets are both integral to supporting British business and the economic growth of the nation – we are already far behind our European counterparts on approving additional airport capacity. The recent work the UK Government has been doing to support UK exports through “Exporting is Great” is all well and good, but increased export targets can only be reached if UK businesses have the level of aviation capacity needed to export their goods to a global market. UK businesses cannot work to drive international trade if there is not the infrastructure to make the journeys to do business. Our economy is losing out by this serial political inaction.”

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