Segro boss David Sleath: Hurry up with Airports Commission decision

 
Emma Haslett
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Businesses are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the consultation by the Airports Commission (Source: Getty)

The chief executive of a FTSE 250-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) has written an open letter to the body charged with deciding whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick, calling for an "end to indecision".

Read more: Stop the dithering - Cameron needs to make an early call on airport expansion

Segro's David Sleath urged the government "not to delay this decision".

"Increasing international air connectivity is fundamental to maintaining the UK's position as a successful global trading nation," he said.

"Decades of uncertainty over whether to expand Heathrow, the UK's only hub airport, is putting Britain at an economic disadvantage."

Sleath, whose business owns much of the warehousing outside Heathrow airport, also came out in favour of expanding the hub airport.

"The airport plays a pivotal role in the export of the UK's world class service sector and is also Britain's air freight hub with 25% of UK exports. It is the only airport that can deliver direct, frequent flights to the world's growth markets and the only option that has exports at the heart of its expansion plans," he said.

A decision by the Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, is due imminently. Although it had originally been slated for May, it was put off until after the election.

The committee has previously quashed plans for a floating island airport in the Thames Estuary, backed by Boris Johnson.

It is now faced with three choices: a new runway for Gatwick, a new runway for Heathrow or an extension to Heathrow's current north runway.

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