It is believed that the decision for a proposed third runway could be delayed for at least six months, until after London’s mayoral election in May next year. A senior source close to the process reportedly told the BBC there needs to be more “confidence building” about the environmental impact of a new runway.
Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of The British Hospitality Association said that it is “illogical” that on one hand the government states commitment to an ambitious programme to increase UK exports by 2020, but on the other hand it delays the “most important decision” needed to drive exports to the UK.
She said: “The success of the government’s own Great campaign relies heavily on the timely expansion of aviation capacity.
“Therefore it seems incongruous to channel increased funds into promoting exports if we aren’t going to have the green light on facilitating that growth through our main airports to the UK.
“Ours is an international industry, representing the UK to visitors and investors from across the world. Our government stalling on such an important decision sends the wrong message to our export markets and damages the sustainable livelihood of our businesses, particularly our SMEs reliant on our international aviation hub for traffic across all of Britain.”
Previously, prime minister David Cameron had promised a decision on whether to back the £23bn expansion programme before the end of 2015.
Earlier this month UKinbound urged the government to ‘act fast’ on Heathrow expansion plans. The tourism body said need for increased airport capacity to accommodate the growing visitor figures is “pressing”.