London airport expansion: London Chambers of Commerce pushes for Heathrow decision after Gatwick promises concessions

James Nickerson
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The Debate Over The Third Runway At Heathrow Airport Continues
The LCCI said there are no more excuses to delay a new runway decision (Source: Getty)

A top business group has called on government to back Heathrow after the EU referendum following pledges from Gatwick that it would make concessions to get the green light on a second runway.

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said that airport expansion must be the priority after the EU referendum, adding that government should respond to the recommendations of the Airports Commission.

Last year, the independent Airports Commission, headed by Sir Howard Davies, said Heathrow should be expanded, but with severe environmental restrictions.

Read more: Business groups rally on government again after Heathrow accepts conditions for expansion

Chief executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said: "Government has been 'on-hold' for the past couple of months. And as a result many big decisions have been delayed.

"There are no more excuses to delay a new runway decision – and one of the most crucial decisions for the sake of London and the UK economy.

"The Referendum result is due on Friday 24 June, this should be followed by a clear decision on which airport location will be allowed to expand."

Read more: Exasperated business bosses want second runway at Gatwick if Heathrow expansion faces further delays

The push from the business group comes after Gatwick wrote an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, promising to cap passenger fares and accelerate its timetable if it is picked ahead of Heathrow.

"The pledges we are making today represent a fair deal for the country – for passengers, the taxpayer and local communities. Critically they guarantee that the UK's next runway can actually be built and operated legally so that Britain can grow. This is something everyone can unite around," the letter said.

It's likely that the Prime Minister will make a decision this year as he has been under pressure since his government kicked the issue into the long grass last year.

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