Bam Nuttall, Mace and Morgan Sindall are among 270 companies to have signed an open letter calling on the prime minister to back airport expansion at Heathrow.
Bam Nuttall chief executive Stephen Fox, Mace Group chief executive Mark Reynolds and Morgan Sindall managing director of infrastructure Nick Fletcher urged the government to support a new north-west runway at Heathrow.
The letter comes three weeks after the Airports Commission named a new north-west runway at Heathrow as the preferred option for airport expansion in the South-east.
The Sir Howard Davies-led report cited the economic benefits as one of the major factors behind choosing its preferred option ahead of a runway to the north of the airport or a second runway at Gatwick.
Heathrow Airport has said it remains confident of gaining government approval for the new runway, with CEO John Holland-Kaye announcing last week that tendering for work on the project could start as early as December.
The letter called on the government to “support” the “clear recommendation” from the commission, adding that a quick decision would help put Britain at the “heart of the global economy”.
Business leaders’ letter to the prime minister
Dear prime minister,
The independent Airports Commission has made a clear recommendation that Heathrow is the right location for airport expansion.
Heathrow’s new expansion plan ensures this can be done sustainably.
The commission’s final recommendation follows nearly three years of extensive consultation, evidence gathering and analysis. Now your government must support this recommendation to expand Heathrow.
Heathrow puts Britain right at the heart of the global economy and has helped it become one of the world’s great trading nations.
But Heathrow – the UK’s only hub airport – has been operating at capacity for the past decade.
This lack of hub capacity is holding back the growth of UK businesses who want to fly directly to emerging markets; trade and transport their goods via air freight; create more jobs; and connect to the UK’s regions.
The commission is clear: further delay will be increasingly costly and will be seen, nationally and internationally, as a sign that the UK is unwilling or unable to take the steps needed to maintain its position as a well-connected open trading economy in the 21st century.
Now is the time for government decision and action. Your government must support UK businesses by implementing the Airports Commission’s recommendation and expand Heathrow.
The letter also stated that any further delay would be increasingly costly to the UK and be a sign that the country was “unwilling and unable” to take the steps needed to maintain its position as a “well-connected trading economy for the 21st century”.
Commenting on the letter, Heathrow chief executive John Holland Kaye said: “The prime minister showed leadership in establishing an independent Airports Commission.
“It unanimously concluded that expanding Heathrow is the best way of securing Britain’s future as a powerhouse in the global economy.
“Now the prime minister has the opportunity to show he is serious about delivering Britain’s long-term economic plan by listening to businesses from across the UK and backing Heathrow expansion.
“This debate has never been about a runway; it is about the future of our country. Let’s get on with it.”
While the business community seems united behind the idea of airport expansion at Heathrow, a number of high-profile Conservative politicians are strongly opposed to a third runway.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson and mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith both oppose the plan, with the latter threatening to leave the party if Heathrow expansion is given the green light.