Air, Freight News

Come on with runway decision says Commons Committee

[ May 4, 2016   //   ]

The Commons Transport Select Committee has called on the government to stop putting off a decision to expand Heathrow Airport rather than Gatwick, a Commons select committee has said. It has urged ministers to end “years of political dithering” and to set out a clear timetable.

In December the Department for Transport confirmed that the Airport Commission’s options for new runways at Heathrow or Gatwick, or extension of an existing runway at Heathrow were viable but then announced a further delay for work on noise, pollution and compensation to be carried out before it made a final decision. The work is expected to be completed by the summer, but the select committee said the resulting indecision had created uncertainty that would cost growth and jobs.

This view was supported by the Freight Transport Association, which said that it echoed requests it made 12 months ago.

In May 2015, after the Association renewed its call on Government to look at increased airport, chief executive David Wells wrote to David Cameron highlighting the essential role of air freight, pointing out that 95% of air cargo is carried in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft.

FTA’s director of global and European policy, Chris Welsh, added: “FTA has been asking for a decision on additional airport capacity for a long time now. It is frustrating that we are still no further forward.  This time last year we outlined the urgent need, but twelve months on, no decision has yet been made.”

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