11/07/12

Commenting on reports that the government’s consultation on aviation capacity will be delayed, Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The government has spent years working on a strategy for UK aviation, so reports that there will be yet more delays beggar belief. Businesses are tired of indecision and equivocation on aviation. Ministers can’t tell businesses to look for new opportunities in emerging markets like Brazil and China, and then fail to provide the basic infrastructure needed to get there.

The consequences of inaction are stark. If the government does not act swiftly to increase capacity in the South East, strengthen our regional airports, and support the development of more connections to emerging markets, the UK will lose both investment and jobs. Our research shows that business leaders in high growth or emerging economies see direct air links as vital to maintaining the UK’s prospects in global markets. Nine out of ten (92%) of these business leaders say direct flights influence their inward investment decisions; while eight in ten (80%) say they would trade more with the UK if flight connections were improved to their home markets.

Trade with fast-growing markets requires Britain to have a strong, resilient hub airport. New runways, at Heathrow and elsewhere, will be required to safeguard the UK’s status as a global aviation hub in both the short and long term.

Continued delays only put the UK further at a competitive disadvantage. Aviation strategy must be at the heart of a credible plan for growth, not a political football.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

BCC research: http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/uk-will-miss-out-on-investment-because-of-poor-air-connections120126.html

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of 51 Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 104,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

Media contacts

Liz Larvin
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Lisa Morrison
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M: +44 [0]7717682221
l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk