MPs demanding airports decision before summer recess

A group of 66 MPs has urged government to make a decision on expansion of runway capacity in the south east before the summer break in the parliamentary calendar, saying that a decision is “vital for the prosperity of the nations and regions of the UK”. 

An Early Day Motion has been submitted to the House of Commons to flag up the importance of the issue of deciding whether Gatwick or Heathrow will be the location for an additonal runway in the south east. The motion has been signed by MPs from all parties, including the chair of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers Graham Brady, the SNP Westminster transport spokesperson Drew Hendry and Angus Mcneil, chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

This latest call from MPs for a positive decison comes two after the House of Commons' Transport Select Committee published its report on the saga of south east runway expansion; concluding that political dithering over the issue has resulted in the UK losing out on millions in investment. Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin told the Committee that government first needs to do more to investigate how air and noise pollution limits will be met before making a decision. The Committee's report said there is no reason why that work cannot be done for either airport after a decison has been made

"Chair of the Transport Committee, Louise Ellman, said: "The Government must make up its mind. The decision on location is not the end of the process, it is the start of one. Real progress cannot begin until the location is declared. Work on environmental issues can run in parallel with other pre-construction work."

Last week, Heathrow Airport said it would extend the quiet period overnight when no flights are allowed to operate in its latest bid to secure a decision in favour of Heathrow. Gatwick responded by saying the announcement is a "last desparate throw of a project that has repeatedly failed".

The Transport Select Committee has backed Heathrow in support of the recommendations of the Davies Commission. MPs calling for a decision through the Early Day Motion have not written in support of one side of the argument, but call for a decison to prevent further prevarication and damage to the economy.

The EDM says: 'This House notes that the Airports Commission spent three years and millions of taxpayers' money examining the evidence in a process that has been robust and rigorous; further believes the Government should get on with making a decision on airport expansion in the South East of England as swiftly as possible; believes that every additional period of delay will cost the UK billions in lost trade and investment; and therefore urges the Government to use the coming months to make rapid progress and announce a final decision in Parliament before the summer recess.”

Graham Brady MP said“After the Europe referendum, whether we’re in or out, the Government must prioritise a decision on airport expansion in London and the South East, I believe such a decision would be supported by a strong majority in the House of Commons.  There’s no doubt in my mind that a final decision to build a new runway would be good for growth, good for jobs and good for British business, sending a clear message to the world that Britain is open for business.”


The Government have got to but more effort into reviewing all the information they have and make a decision on where the runway is going to be built. They are dithering and it`s certainly not going down well with the entire population. My view is also a number of my colleges that utilizing Heathrow is not the best solution entirely on practical grounds i.e The M25, M4, and surrounding areas cannot cope now with the volume of traffic and personnel now, the airport has insufficient facilities I dread making any journey to it. Think what cost and disruption there is going to be caused by the external works alone plus the prolonged period of getting all the very substantial construction work inclusive of statutory services, energy supply etc. carried out. My view with other would be to use Stanstead Airport, cannot understand at the moment why this airport is not been considered more seriously and this would certainly distribute the traffic and personnel flow/movement more evenly and reduce congestion and delays more effectively.