London

Lack of airport expansion response 'unacceptable'

  • 13 July 2014
  • From the section London

A group of business leaders has criticised the government's lack of response to a report on airport expansion.

In a letter to the Sunday Times, they said it was "unacceptable" that the government had not responded to the Airports Commission's interim report.

The commission shortlisted three options for expanding the UK's airport capacity in December.

The Department for Transport said it would respond to the report "shortly".

The options include adding a third runway at Heathrow, lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow, and a new runway at Gatwick.

The commission, led by businessman Sir Howard Davies, will also consider a new airport in the Isle of Grain in north Kent.

A final report is due by next summer.

'Community concern'

The letter to the Sunday Times, which was organised by the campaign group Let Britain Fly, was signed by a number of businesses, including representatives from Harrods and Selfridges.

Gavin Hayes, director of Let Britain Fly, said the government needed to make its position clear.

"The business community is very concerned about the fact that the government have not yet responded to the Airports Commission interim report which was published over six months ago," he said.

"We think it is really important for the government to maintain the trust and confidence of the business community, that they come out and say on record that they support that view that London and the South East needs at least one new runway."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "We are making progress delivering on the Airports Commission's key recommendations in its interim report, including improving rail access to Gatwick and establishing the CAA-led Senior Delivery Group to drive forward airspace reform.

"These proposals are not about a quick fix, but about what can be done to make the most of existing airport infrastructure over the short to medium term."

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