ITC says Government must grasp airport nettle

The Independent Travel Commission has produced a report “Time to act” which urges the Government to act on the recommendations of the Airports Commission, due imminently.

The report says that the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) has called on the new government to implement the Airports Commission’s recommendations on improving airport capacity in London and the South-East in its first 100 days.

The ITC report says Airport capacity is important for economic growth, because it benefits both trade and investment in the economy as a whole.

It says the Airports Commission’s three shortlisted options each have different pros and
cons and will each attract controversy if they are recommended, but that what they have in common is that, even in a worst case scenario, they will bring significant benefits to the UK economy.

The ITC acknowledge that controversy can increase the incentives to postpone decisions and say that UK governments have a history of shelving reports on improving airport capacity because of this. However, since two of the major airports serving London and the South-East already have capacity constraints and the system as a whole will be at full capacity by 2050 at the latest, and given the long lead times associated with major infrastructure projects, the ITC say it is important that the government does not let controversy get in the way of decision-making.

Unless it grasps this nettle, growth and prosperity in the UK will suffer.

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