Lack of capacity causing ‘substantial damage’ to UK

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The UK is losing up to £6.7 million ($8.8 million) a day due to lack of capacity, and the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, should make expansion her top priority, the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) says.

The cross-party group of 40 members of parliament (MP), headed up by Grant Shapps MP, says the lack of capacity is causing substantial damage to the industry, and an immediate decision on hub expansion is needed. Other measures BIG recommends include expanding regional airports, joining up regional infrastructure, small hub friendly regulation, improved funding for local routes and enterprise zones around airports.

The report, titled ‘Gate Now Closing A final call for UK airport expansion to protect Britain’s businesses, economy and jobs’ click here to read warns: “Delay is eroding the trust of the industry and investors. Only expansion can solve the problems in the system, from halted domestic flights to the exclusion of new long‐haul routes caused by the capacity crunch.”

According to the government’s Airports Commission, which was published in July 2015, a third runway at Heathrow Airport would bring in £147 billion of economic benefits over 60 years, while Gatwick Airport would be £89 billion. It says for every year of delay, not expanding Heathrow costs £2.45 billion and Gatwick £1.5 billion.