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BBT March/April 2019 cover
March/April 2019

Decision on airport expansion needed ‘urgently’ – MPs

The plans include a new Terminal, to the west of Terminal 5, and an area set aside for a new business park

The government must make an “urgent and immediate” decision on hub airport expansion, a cross-party group of MPs have said.

In a report from the British Infrastructure Group (BIG), led by Conservative MP Grant Shapps, it says a decision is “long overdue” and now more important because of Brexit.

It states the problem of capacity at the current hub, Heathrow, is causing substantial damage to the industry as a whole.

“It erodes confidence in the government’s ambition of growing the economy and international trade”. The report adds a decision is needed now to show the new government’s “mettle”.

Last month, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said there will be no decision on airport expansion until “at least October”.

Last summer, the Airports Commission recommended Heathrow be expanded over Gatwick but in December the government delayed its decision saying it needed more time to carry out tests on noise and pollution.

BIG also called for expansion to regional airports, lower APD and make regulation “small airport friendly”.

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