The British Infrastructure Group (BIG), an all party group of MPs headed by Conservative MP Grant Shapps, has urged new prime minister Theresa May to make a decision on where to build a new runway, saying that the delay is costing the UK up to £6m a day.
Its report – Gate Now Closing – has just been published, and includes a call for an “urgent and immediate decision on hub airport expansion”. It has the support of around 40 MPs of all parties.
BIG express no preference between Heathrow and Gatwick, but suggest that the continuing prevarication and delay is hurting Britain’s businesses.
The report says: “The problem of capacity at the current hub, Heathrow, is causing substantial damage to the industry as a whole. It erodes confidence in the Government’s stated ambition of growing the economy and our international trade. The evidence has been gathered by the Airport Commission. Now a decision is needed, to show the new leadership’s mettle.”
It also calls for expansion at regional airports, progressively lower Airport Passenger Duty (APD), improved funding for local start-up routes, and fast-tracked enterprise zone development around airports.