Expansion will release the constraints on economic growth caused by the airport operating at capacity and will give a much-needed boost to trade, investment and economic growth.

David Hawes, Thames Valley regional chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “With the decision in, there must not be any further excuses or delays. To do so is to put the long-term economic health of the UK at risk.

"All the options under consideration had their advantages, but it’s clear that the business and wider economic case for Heathrow proved decisive. The tremendous benefits in terms of growth and jobs are clear.”

Luton-based budget airline easyJet has said it will open a base at Heathrow should the expansion happen. Chief executive Carolyn McCall said:”easyJet supports the Airports Commission’s clear and unanimous recommendation and agrees that expansion at Heathrow will provide the greatest passenger and economic benefits, including lower fares by opening up the airport to increased competition. Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant benefits to all parts of the UK.

“We now urge the government to quickly proceed with the Commission’s recommendation and start the work to increase the aviation capacity for the UK.”

Mr Hawes welcomed the report’s suggestions to ensure benefits of airport expansion are felt across the UK and safeguards to minimise the environmental impact around Heathrow of expansion.

He said: “Although this option could present greater political challenges, ministers must not use this as an excuse for inaction.


“What this process has made clear is that we cannot continue to delay the big decisions on national infrastructure which simply holds back the ambitions of the country. New roads, broadband infrastructure, and improved regional and national transport links are vital to our future economic growth and wellbeing. A longer term transport strategy, which takes all modes of transport into account, is required to deliver this.”     

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