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Airport delay damaging businesses, says British Hospitality Association

BHA says the decision to delay an announcement on an additional runway in the South East sends “the wrong message”
15/12/2015

Pictured: Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association

The British Hospitality Association has said the decision to delay an announcement on an additional runway in the South East sends “the wrong message” and is damaging businesses.

The comments come just days after the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) said that the delays were causing harm to the UK’s reputation as an international events destination.

Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association said: "It is illogical that on one hand the government states commitment to an ambitious programme to increase UK exports by 2020, and on the other hand it delays the most important decision needed to drive exports to the UK. 

“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."

An announcement on whether the government would approve a third runway at London Heathrow, as recommended by the Sir Howard Davies Airports Commission report into aviation capacity in the UK, was expected by Christmas. 

But last week Prime Minister David Cameron revealed he has put off a final decision on approving a third runway at Heathrow, or the alternative of a second at Gatwick, until at least summer 2016. Ministers have claimed further pollution tests need to be carried out before a final decision can be made.


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