It is believed that the decision for a proposed third runway could be delayed for at least six months, with a senior source close to the process reportedly telling the BBC there needs to be more “confidence building” about the environmental impact of a new runway at Heathrow.
Previously, prime minister David Cameron had promised a decision on whether to back the £23bn expansion programme by the end of the year – however it is believed that this may not happen until after London’s mayoral election in May next year.
With the current boom in UK tourism demonstrating continuous year on year growth, UKinbound said the need for increased airport capacity to accommodate the growing visitor figures is “pressing”.
Deirdre Wells, CEO, said: “At UKinbound we are extremely concerned at the government’s decision to further delay their response to the Davies Commission. Inbound visitors to the UK brought £22bn to our economy last year and over 70% of them came by air.
“Our airport capacity is at breaking point, restricting further growth for this important industry. We need the government to show leadership and make a decision by the end of 2015 as originally promised.”
A report released earlier this year by the Airports Commission claimed that a new northwest runway at Heathrow would not increase noise above current levels, generate up to £147bn in economic growth over 60 years and create 70,000 new jobs by 2050.
Wells added: “Not only is tourism the UK’s third biggest employer, it is also the seventh highest export earner for the UK, therefore we believe that an investment in our international and domestic connectivity is fundamental to securing long-term economic growth and employment.”