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Government decision on expansion of UK aviation capacity delayed by another year

Left: Design rendering of London Heathrow Airport's proposed third runway project


London Mayor Sadiq Khan has today (October 19) criticized ministers for delaying the final decision of where to build a new runway in the southeast of England for up to a year. The London Mayor accused the British government of causing unnecessary uncertainty for businesses already struggling with Brexit.

Khan said, “Now, more than ever, businesses need certainty and stability in order to make investment decisions and to keep jobs in Britain. Instead they are getting dither and delay.”

“The government’s decision to yet again delay deciding where to build a new runway will cause unnecessary uncertainty for British businesses.

“Now it’s time to get on with building a new runway at Gatwick, which can be built quicker, cheaper, and without the years of legal and political battles that Heathrow clearly faces.”

His comments came after Downing Street postponed a final decision on expanding London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport until late 2017. Prime Minister (PM) Theresa May reportedly told ministers during today’s PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions) that a preferred site would be identified, but that this would be subject to consultation and a vote in the House of Commons late next year.

“This is a subject that has been debated, discussed, and speculated on for 40 years. This government will take a decision,” said May.

“But there is then a formal process that has to be undertaken so that the government will identify its preferred option of site. That will then go to a statutory consultation.

“The government will then consider the results of the statutory consultation and bring forward an airports national planning statement on which this house will vote.”

The decision means that Article 50, the formal move triggering Britain’s exit from the European Union, is set to be taken before any final decision is reached on airport capacity in the southeast.

October 19, 2016


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