Limavady native Ann McGregor is amongst 100 business leaders calling on the new Conservative Government to build a new runway near London.
Ann McGregor MBE, has signed a statement issued on behalf of the Let Britain Fly lobby group in her capacity as chief executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Signatories include a large number of business leaders from Britain’s top firms including many from the FTSE 100; alongside the heads of business organisations.
Gavin Hayes, Director of Let Britain Fly said: “The new Government should use its fresh mandate and make a bold and early decision to build a new runway.
“With all of London’s airports forecast to be full by 2030, kicking the can down the road is no longer an option.
“This will be one of the first big issues that will test whether the Government is capable of making strategic decisions in the national interest.”
“The Conservatives pledged in their manifesto they would ‘respond to the Airports Commission’s Final Report’, to maintain the trust and confidence of the business community it’s essential that response is both positive and timely.
“After almost three years of debating the issue in a Commission decision-day is fast approaching.”
The statement reads: “One of the most urgent infrastructure priorities for the new Government is the decision to expand airport capacity.
“Expanding our international connectivity is fundamental to ensuring Britain remains open for business and would give a much-needed boost to trade, tourism, investment and economic growth right across the country. By value forty per cent of our exports go by air; we trade up to twenty times more with countries we have a direct air link to.
“With Heathrow already full, Gatwick full by 2020 and most of London’s other airports full by 2030, the demand for expansion is self-evident.
“As people who run some of Britain’s leading businesses, it concerns us that other countries plan on building over fifty new runways between now and 2036. China alone will build seventeen. Whilst in this country we haven’t built a new full-length runway in the South East since 1945.
“Decades of inaction mean we are falling behind our competitors. Paris has 50 per cent more flights to China. Whilst Dubai International recently overtook Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport.
“This is why when the Airports Commission publishes its Final Report, we urge the new Government to make an early decision on airport expansion and end over half a century of political procrastination.”