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Action over airport capacity needed says new report

AirportThe UK transport committee has suggested that years of political squabbling over airport expansion in the south-east of England should end.

In a new report the committee has called on the secretary of state to set out a clear timetable for expansion. It also calls for clarity on which plans have been accepted or rejected and a publication of a timetable for the work to be completed.

Heathrow backing

The new report concludes that arguments for and against expansion have not changed much over the past 25 years and the committee continues to back plans for a new runway at Heathrow.

It also documents the progress of the debate from the 1990s to the most recent statement in the House of Commons last December.

The London mayoral election has delayed the process, as the Government was unwilling to release any updates until after it has taken place.

Louise Ellman, Chair of the transport committee, said: “The Government must make up its mind. The decision on location is not the end of the process, it is the start of one.

“Real progress cannot begin until the location is declared.” 

Global expansion

Across the rest of the world there are plans for more than 50 new runways with capacity to serve one billion additional passenger journeys by 2036 in various cities.

North America, the Middle and Far East have seen a boom in large new airport hubs which threatens the UK’s position as a main hub for international aviation, the report argues.

“The real, independent evidence continues to point towards Heathrow,” claimed a spokesperson for the airport.

“The transport committee and the prime minister’s Airports Commission have confirmed that an expanded Heathrow will be an economic powerhouse driving jobs creation across the UK and fuelling a boom in British exports.”

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Date Created: 05 May 2016

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