UK businesses join ‘Let Britain Fly’ campaign

Leading British companies have joined a new campaign – ‘Let Britain Fly’ – demanding urgent action to increase airport capacity in the south-east of England.

The ‘Let Britain Fly’ campaign initiated by London First, a business membership organisation, seeks to build cross party support to build new runways. The campaign warns that the need for more airport capacity is urgent.

‘Heathrow is full and Gatwick and Stanstead soon will be,’ a campaign statement said, adding: ‘We believe Britain remaining Europe’s most important aviation hub is of strategic national importance. If politicians fail to act soon to expand airport capacity, our economy will lose its competitive edge.’

Top companies supporting ‘Let Britain Fly’ campaign include Aberdeen Asset Management, Aggreko, Asda, Boots, HSBC, Harrods, Land Securities, Lloyds Banking Group, Next and WPP. Travel organisations are also represented, including the pilots’ union BALPA, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) and the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC).

The capacity constraints threaten ‘to hamper the UK’s success as a global business centre and at the same time the ability to forge a lasting economic recovery,’ Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP reportedly told The Daily Telegraph.

‘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,’ he added.

The campaign comes as Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, is set to publish a shortlist of the potential sites – where extra runways, or a new airport – could be constructed next month.