Get on with it: Businesses get impatient over runway woes after reports suggest Theresa May has enough backing for Heathrow expansion

Heathrow Terminal Five - Official Opening
Hope may be on the horizon for airport expansion, but have businesses heard it all before? (Source: Getty)

Businesses are saying enough is enough to endless dithering over airport expansion, as reports emerged yesterday suggesting government might now have enough support to push through a Heathrow expansion.

Sean McKee, director of policy at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told City A.M. he hoped the latest news was not another "false start".

"Our understanding was that over the last 18 months there's been enough votes in parliament but what's been lacking is any political will or leadership from government," McKee added. "So we've seen Prime Ministers come and go. We've seen aviation ministers come and go. Now, one can only, wearily, watch the TV screens and wait to see whether or not they deliver."

Meanwhile, Matthew Hill, of campaign group Let Britain Fly, said the decision was "now urgent", adding: "Government has to make a choice and send a clear signal that the UK is open for business."

Read more: Heathrow runway extension backers slash £2bn from forecast costs

James Sproule, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, added: "We need to see some leadership from our politicians, and approving a new runway would be a very positive sign that Britain is open for business."

A decision on expansion is expected in October, following the meeting of a cabinet committee on airports. Although membership of the committee is yet to be fully revealed, foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a vocal opponent of a third Heathrow runway, is not expected to attend.

The decision on how to expand London's airport capacity has been somewhat delayed. As far back as July last year, a report from Sir Howard Davis' airport commission recommended building the new runway at Heathrow rather than Gatwick.

However, the government kicked the plans into the long grass, citing environmental concerns.

Read more: Senior Tory demands answers on HS2 and airports

The Financial Times yesterday reported that Conservative party chairman Patrick McLoughlin has been polling MPs over their support, finding a parliamentary majority for Heathrow expansion.

Reigate MP Crispin Blunt has been a vocal supporter of a third runway at Heathrow, and he told City A.M. MPs would back the plan by "a substantial majority".

"We have known what the decision should be for more than a year, and nothing has changed, so let's get on with it," Blunt said.

Earlier this month, a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and Let Britain Fly found the ongoing delay on the decision was costing the UK the equivalent of £1m an hour in lost trade with emerging markets.

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