Stop the dithering on Heathrow – the UK needs to know, MPs report

The Transport Selet Committee has reported on its investigations into government's prevarication over south east airport expansion, concluding that Heathrow and other recommendations of the Davies Commission should be followed through, with a positive decision and commitment to a clear timetable of construction.

Arguments for and against a new runway at Heathrow have not changed in over a quarter of a century, the UK has squandered opportunity to end decades of political dithering over the issue of airport expansion and the UK is losing out on investment as a result, the Committee says. It also says the necessary work on furthering mitigation of environmental impact can be done in parallel with statutory planning procedures.

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.

"Across the world, cities are collectively planning to build more than 50 new runways with capacity to serve one billion additional passenger journeys by 2036. The growth of large hubs in the Middle and Far East and North America threatens our position as a hub of international aviation. The UK's connectivity with the world's emerging markets is a major concern.

"The months ticking by constitute time wasted for the UK's economic prosperity. UK PLC needs to know that a decision will be taken. Doing nothing means the UK continues to lose out."