Let Britain Fly campaign lands at ParliamentFebruary 22, 2017
We celebrated the successful Let Britain Fly campaign this week, with a parliamentary reception for businesses and MPs, kindly sponsored by Kier Group.
Let Britain Fly was launched by London First in November 2013 supported by a coalition of over 100 national business leaders, business organisations and industry bodies. The campaign was focused on securing a government commitment to runway expansion in the South East, in response to the Airports Commission. After almost three years of campaigning, the government last year finally announced its clear support for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. A short document highlighting the campaign’s achievements and major milestones can be seen here.
Speaking at the reception, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP paid tribute to the vital role that London First and Let Britain Fly played in making the economic case for airports expansion. He emphasised the substantial economic opportunities that would flow from improved regional and international connectivity and stressed the benefits Heathrow expansion would bring to the whole UK. These remarks were echoed by two key cross-party supporters of Let Britain Fly, Graham Brady MP (Conservative MP for Altrincham and Sale West) and Louise Ellman MP (Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside and Chair of the Transport Select Committee).
London First will now focus on ensuring that government delivers on its decision to expand Heathrow, and that business is well represented in the ongoing public consultation around the Airports National Policy Statement (which sets out the framework which Heathrow would have to comply with in order to get planning permission). We will shortly be in touch with members with advice on how you can also make your voice heard in that process. In parallel a period of Parliamentary scrutiny will begin for the draft NPS, ending in 2017. A final airports NPS is expected to be laid before Parliament for debate and vote in ‘winter 2017-18’.
Any new runway will likely take a decade or more to deliver, and in the meantime there is much that needs to be done to make the most of the capacity we already have at London’s airports. London First will also be stepping up our campaigning efforts to make the best use of existing capacity through improvements to rail links, airspace modernisation and the removal of planning constraints which hold back potential growth. We will also press for a long-term aviation policy that will enable future proposals for additional capacity at London’s airports to come forward in a much more timely and market-based way than has been possible until now.
London First would like to thank all of our members for your support to date – and in anticipation of your continued support in the months to come. We would like to say a particular thank you to the following for their support for Let Britain Fly: Aberdeen Asset Management, Cadogan, Canary Wharf Group, City of London, Edwardian Group London, Harrods, Mace, SEGRO and Selfridges, along with the London Chamber of Commerce, the FSB and the IoD.