Airport NIMBYs are putting recovery in jeopardy, says Chamber chief

Feb 01, 2013


Cheryl Smart, chief executive of the county’s Chamber of Commerce, says that protest group Hertfordshire Against Luton Airport Expansion have disregarded the views of more than 1,000 businesses in their response to the recent consultation on the airport’s expansion plans.
Her response follows claims by HALE that the results were “flawed” and “misleading”.
HALE claimed that the views of the general public contained in the consultation report showed overwhelming opposition to the airport’s plans.
In a letter to Business2Business, Mrs Smart said that the Chamber was “appalled” at HALE’s stance.
She said: “Now is not the time for a small group of NIMBYs to represent their minority view as that of the majority nor to seek to put our politicians over a barrel.”
HALE had ignored the fact that more passengers from Hertfordshire use dthe airport than from any other county, she added.
“They also forget that 12% of the people who work at the airport live in the county and that many more will no doubt want to apply for one of the more than 5,000 vacancies confidently expected to arise from development.
“The government wants to attract more private infrastructure investment, and the operator of Luton Airport has committed to investing £100 million. However, if HALE gets their way, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce believes our fragile economic recovery will be thrown into jeopardy.
“We therefore call upon our national and local politicians to get behind our businesses, help us in the economic recovery, and support the much needed development at Luton Airport.”
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