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British firms 'call for airport development'

27/11/13

A host of British businesses, including a number of top financial services firms, have called on the government to end 70 years of inertia and take steps to improve the UK's overall air capacity

Companies including Aberdeen Asset Management, Land Securities, Lloyds Banking Group and WPP are all involved in the so-called Let Britain Fly campaign, which marks a major step in the ongoing debate over developing a new aviation hub in the south-east.

According to the firms involved, this matter could have serious consequences for businesses across the UK as well as for the country's overall financial health in the coming years.

"If our economy is to flourish in the future it is vital we continue to be one of the best connected countries in the world. This is why we believe Britain remaining Europe's most important aviation hub is of strategic national importance," the organisation declared.

There has been much debate over the UK's place in Europe over recent years, with this just one aspect of the problem that has been rumbling on for some years.

More than 200 million passengers pass through British airports each year, with Heathrow already working to its full capacity to process these people.

Further investment could take the pressure off this hub and ensure travellers are not subject to excessive delays or overcrowding.

Some 40 per cent of British exports in value go by air, highlighting the importance of aviation to the country's overall economy.

A government-appointed commission is currently examining where new runways could be placed, but no decision will be made until at least 2015, with business leaders keen to avoid any further delays and push the coalition into firm action.

"We live in a world where connectivity is key - not only in digital but also in physical terms. This means we urgently need MPs to put our long-term national interest ahead of short-term politics," Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP told the Telegraph.

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