Business pushes Government on Heathrow

Over 50 business leaders signed a letter, organised by Let Britain Fly and published in the Sunday Telegraph, calling on the Prime Minister to green-light a new runway at Heathrow.

The letter warns against any further lengthy public consultation or unnecessary delay.

It was written in response to news reports suggesting that whilst the Prime Minister was preparing to back a third runway, there might be yet another public consultation on the future of aviation capacity.

The letter welcomes the report that the Prime Minister is preparing to back a new runway at Heathrow, but says “yet another lengthy consultation on aviation capacity” would procude further delays and uncertainty, and would be unnecessary given that the Airports Commission has already spent three years consulting on this topic.

The letter says that Airport expansion is fundamental to ensuring the Government’s long-term economic plan is delivered, and that lack of capacity is hindering the country’s ability to increase trade, particularly with high-growth economies where our connectivity is not as good as it should be.

It says: “Further delays to expansion would merely help global competitors edge ahead. Paris already has 50 per cent more flights to China than London, while Frankfurt serves double the number of Brazilian destinations.

“The Government must show strong, determined leadership and press ahead as swiftly as possible with a third runway at Heathrow, as recommended by the Airports Commission”.

Signatories include Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive, WPP; Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Canary Wharf Group; Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive, Mace; David Sleath, Chief Executive Officer, SEGRO; Philip Green, Chairman, Carillion; John Stewart, Chairman, Legal & General; Michael Ward, Managing Director, Harrods; Robert Noel, Chief Executive, Land Securities Group; James Rowntree, Managing Director (Transportation), CH2M HILL; Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mark Bensted, Managing Director, Powerday; Ian Durant, Chairman, Capital and Counties Properties; John Rhodes, Director, Quod; and Surinder Arora, CEO, Arora Group.

A Government announcement on airport expansion is now expected within weeks.

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