CBI chief urges action on new runway

An artist's impression of Heathrow's planned third runway. Picture: Heathrow Airport/PA Wire
An artist's impression of Heathrow's planned third runway. Picture: Heathrow Airport/PA Wire
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The window of opportunity to decide on a new runway in the south-east of England, enabling work to start as soon as possible to boost growth nationwide, is “closing fast” according to the president of the CBI.

Speaking yesterday at the Airport Operators’ Association conference, Paul Drechsler said such a move would hugely boost apprenticeships, by up to 5,000, as well as up to 94,900 manufacturing jobs and buoy the UK’s growing firms who are looking to export.

He said: “Every day, month and year we delay building a new runway has a price – in lost trade. But a new runway doesn’t just help businessmen and women close deals in faraway lands. It’s about jobs and growth for people and firms right across the United Kingdom.

“To provide the skilled workers, makers and exporters of tomorrow, though, we need to push for brave, political leadership today. We welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to a decision by Christmas, so want to see a clear decision and timetable set by government. We can’t ‘pass the buck’ on Britain’s future any longer.”

The UK government is set to decide by year-end on whether a second runway should be added at Gatwick or a third runway at Heathrow, with the latter seen as the most likely option.