Campaign group Let Britain Fly urges May to make airport capacity decision

Delays to the decision to expand the country’s airport capacity in south-east England is costing the economy £1m an hour, new research has claimed.

Put together by campaign group, Let Britain Fly, the findings say the UK misses out on £9.5bn of potential trade every year because of a lack of runway capacity.

Last year, the Davies Commission – the group set up in 2012 with recommending a preferred option to increase airport capacity – said a third runway should be built at Heathrow Airport in west London.

But more than a year after it published its report, no formal decision has been made by the government.

Now business leaders have written to prime minister Theresa May telling her to accept Davies’ recommendation.

May is expected to give a decision by the end of the year but Let Britain Fly’s Matthew Hill told her to get on with it.

He said: “Government has a clear recommendation for a new runway from the Airports Commission, and its failure to take a decision is harming the whole of UK plc. Building a new runway would send a clear message, written in concrete, that we are open for business.”

And London First chief executive Jo Valentine said: “A new runway in the south east is critical to supporting exports from all over the UK, allowing us to open new routes to emerging markets and expand existing links.”

Earlier this week, the main runway at Gatwick Airport in west Sussex was forced to shut after a hole was found in it.