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Government must keep commitment to open a new runway by 2030

Over one hundred business leaders, MPs and other stakeholders gathered in Westminster for a Let Britain Fly Breakfast briefing to mark the one year anniversary of the Airports Commission publishing its final report.

The event coincided with a Government announced that the decision on airport capacity will be left to the next Prime Minister, adding further delay to the decision on where a new runway should be built.

At transport questions the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said “I cannot now foresee announcement until October”. Back in February, Mr McLoughlin, told MPs that a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick would be delivered by 2030.

Following the announcement, Gavin Hayes, Director of Let Britain Fly warned that:

“The further delay will only do more harm to our international competitiveness at a time when we should be doing everything in our power to protect jobs and growth.”

Coverage of the event was picked up in The Evening Standard, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Independent, BBC News and Sky News.

Let Britain Fly will now continue to keep the issue of airport expansion as prominent as possible and ensure that the next Prime Minister makes a final decision on the location of a new runway by the end of 2016.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive at London First, responded to the news saying:

“Clearly this is disappointing. Nothing can be more vital for a trading island than sufficient air links, especially after the referendum result. There should be no question that whoever takes over from David Cameron must keep the government’s commitment to open a new runway by 2030.”

John Allan the Chairman of London First said the delay was “a very serious set-back not just to London but the whole country.”

Lillian Greenwood MP and former Shadow Transport Secretary, said that after the years she spent on the frontbench she had come to the conclusion that: “Heathrow is the only credible option for runway expansion.”

Frances O’Grady the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress urged those present to keep lobbying for a decision saying “We need to keep pressure on MPs. Workers must not pay the price for an absent decision on airport expansion.”

Contact: Gavin Hayes, ghayes@londonfirst.co.uk

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