MPs call for "urgent" decision on airport expansion

Lynsey Barber
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Terminal 5 Opens At Heathrow
A third runway at Heathrow was advised by the Airport Commission (Source: Getty)

A final decision on expanding the UK's airport capacity needs to be made "urgently", a group of MPs have said, with further delay putting the economy at risk.

A report from the British Infrastrucutre Group (BIG), a cross-party group led by Grant Shapps, urged Theresa May to make a decision "to show the new leadership's mettle".

Read more: Heathrow grows revenue and profit as it waits for expansion decision

"This report concludes that the government must select the new hub as a matter of extreme urgency. The decision on EU membership has not altered this fundamental fact. We believe this choice should be one of the first across the new prime minister’s desk.”

A long-awaited independent report by Sir Howard Davies last year recommended a new runway be built at Heathrow, however, a decision was put back by the government. The now-former Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin revealed in June he did not see a decision being made until "at least October".

Read more: Here's what Heathrow will look like after it is expanded

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has come out backing expansion at Gatwick.

British business has been left frustrated by the indecision on the highly delicate matter and have also urged the government to make an urgent decision.

The MPs did not indicate a preference for which airport should be expanded, but said that a decision would show Britain was "open for business" after the vote for Brexit.

The report, backed by 42 cross=party MPs, also called for expansion of other regional airports across the UK "for the sake of UK PLC), and for the government to reduce the airport passenger duty.

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