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Dismay over airport expansion delay


Decision on airport expansion delayed
Decision on airport expansion delayed

BRITAIN’S business community voiced concern over the latest delay on a decision on the needed airport expansion.

Prime minister David Cameron had been set to make a decision on where to expand airport capacity in southeast England in the coming weeks.

However, transport minister Patrick McLoughlin said last Thursday (30) that Britain will not decide where to build a new runway at a London airport until at least October, due to the political turmoil following Britons voting to leave the European Union (EU).

A government-appointed commission recommended in July 2015 that Britain should build a third runway at London Heathrow airport to ease congestion.

The runway would cost £17.6 billion, but would generate up to £147 billion over 60 years and create more than 70,000 jobs by 2050, the Davies commission’s report had concluded.

Business leaders have repeatedly called on the government to build new runway capacity, as Heathrow is already full.

But past attempts to expand the airport, 15 miles west of London in a densely populated area, have been scuppered by local opposition over worries about increased noise and air pollution.

The Davies commission report also added that a rival bid for a second runway at Gatwick airport was also “plausible”. Adam Marshall, acting director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses will see the latest delay to the runway decision as a cop out.

“It means a longer wait for connectivity to global markets for our exporters, and less work for suppliers who are keen for business. “The government should reconsider swiftly and make a tough decision on a new runway.”