FTA condemns further runway expansion delay

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Freight Transport Association director of global & European policy, Chris Welsh
Freight Transport Association director of global & European policy, Chris Welsh

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has expressed its dismay that a decision to increase runway capacity in the South East of England will be further delayed until the Conservative party elects a new leader.

The UK government had been due to make a decision on whether Heathrow Airport should receive approval for a third runway, or a second one at Gatwick Airport this summer, but the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron following the public vote to leave the European Union (EU) means it has been put off again.

The government appointed Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, published its report in July 2015, concluding that Heathrow should have a third runway as it would bring more economic benefits than Gatwick.

The UK government was due to formally respond by the end of 2015, but put it off until the middle of this year, and now the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin has confirmed it will be delayed until at least October when a new Conservative party leader is elected.

FTA director of global & European policy, Chris Welsh says: “This is at least the third time a decision has been put off since the Davies Commission report was published last year.”

“Increased airport capacity in the South East has become a political football and the situation must not be allowed to continue. Britain needs connections with the world now it has walked away from the EU.”