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London Chamber of Commerce and IndustryLondon Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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Decision not dithering is needed on airport expansion

Tuesday 9th June 2015

Decision not dithering is needed on airport expansion

  • Strong business support for new runways
  • Call for practical short term measures to boost capacity

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on Government to be prepared to make a swift and clear decision on airport expansion when the Airports Commission reports in the coming weeks.

New polling for LCCI by ComRes, ahead of the imminent publication of the Airports Commission's final report, found continued strong support for airport expansion. When asked which of the two options they preferred, the survey of over 500 of the capital's business leaders revealed:

  • 49% of businesses favour expansion at Heathrow Airport
  • 32% of businesses favour Gatwick Airport

With a new runway not operational until the mid-2020s, business leaders were probed on what practical short term measures could be used to boost capacity at London airports:

  • 27% favoured improving rail links to Gatwick Airport
  • 22% favoured extending runway operating hours at Heathrow Airport

Sean McKee, Director of Policy & Public Affairs at LCCI said: "This timely new polling demonstrates the continuing strong interest of London businesses in the long running airport expansion debate.

Aviation is a key pillar of the UK economy. London airports are strategic clusters of economic activity. Our air transport assets need support if they are to continue to contribute towards future growth.

Our politicians have been well aware the Airport Commission will issue its final report shortly - businesses will expect Government to be ready to give a clear response to Sir Howard Davies's recommendations.

The time for grand-standing, positioning and dithering has long passed. Political leadership will be required.

London Chamber has consistently advocated expansion at both Heathrow and Gatwick as a means of future-proofing the UK economy. Both airports are important to the national economic interest - to give the ok to both now, albeit in a staggered approach with Heathrow first, would be a prudent move.

ENDS

Media contact
Sophie Mew, Policy and Public Affairs Officer
T: +44 (0)20 7203 1897
M: +44 (0)7827 241528
E: smew@londonchamber.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITOR:

  1. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
  2. Sean McKee is available for further comment and interview.
  3. ComRes interviewed 510 London business decision-makers online between 7th and 20th May 2015. Data has been weighted to be representative of London businesses by company size and broad industry sector.