Let Britain Fly has sent a letter to UK prime minister David Cameron signed by business leaders, calling on the government to back the Airports Commission’s recommendation to expand Heathrow Airport.
The airport expansion campaign group is urging an early Parliamentary vote on runway development, by the summer 2016 at the latest. Letter signatories include a number of business leaders from FTSE 100 companies.
Last month, the Commission recommended that a third runway is built at Heathrow, rather than a second runway at Gatwick Airport.
Let Britain Fly says: “After nearly three years examining the evidence the view of the Airports Commission is unequivocal: Britain needs airport expansion and the best solution is to build a new runway at Heathrow.
“We back this recommendation and believe the government must now provide a swift and positive response to the Commission’s final report that sets out a clear timetable for an early Parliamentary vote to take place by summer 2016.
“With Heathrow already full for a decade and all of London’s other major airports likely to be full by the end of the next decade, the government must now address the need for a new runway with urgency and give the green light as soon as possible.”
The letter continues that airport expansion is about more than where to build a new runway; it is about securing long-term prosperity and creating jobs and growth for future generations. “By value 40 per cent of our exports go by air and we trade up to twenty times more with countries with which we have a direct air link,” the letter adds.
Let Britain Fly says a new runway will deliver significant connectivity and economic benefits to Northern Ireland, Scotland and the regions in northern England, ensuring key cities across such as Belfast, Glasgow and Newcastle have easy access to the capital and on to international markets beyond.
The letter concludes: “If the UK’s long-term economic plan is to remain credible then allowing investment into the construction of a new runway is essential.”