Commenting on the final report of the Airports Commission, which has backed a new runway at Heathrow, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“After three years of deliberation, businesses across the UK will be pleased that the Airports Commission has finally come to a clear recommendation.

“Now that all the evidence is on the table, firms in every corner of the UK want to see an irreversible government commitment to a new runway at Heathrow by the end of 2015, with planning complete and diggers on the ground by the end of this parliament in 2020.

“The ball is now firmly in the government’s court. If ministers duck this decision, and delay airport expansion for yet another generation, British businesses and our overall competitiveness will pay the price.

“Business long ago ran out of patience. The government cannot afford to delay airport expansion any further if it is serious about Britain punching above its weight on the global stage. That means delivering a new runway at Heathrow now, and leaving the door open to subsequent expansion at Gatwick, Stansted and key regional airports as well.”