Bosses call for airports rethink
A group of Britain's top business leaders has urged the Government to recognise the "economic benefits of flying" in its forthcoming aviation review.
In a letter to the Times, 74 chief executives, chairmen or senior executives from industry, finance and the service sector say Britain needs a "strategy for growth".
The signatories, which include senior figures at Siemens, Lloyds Banking Group and PwC, welcomed investment in London's Crossrail and Birmingham's New Street Station, but called for a plan "to secure the UK's international connectivity".
They wrote: "Our main airports - particularly in the South East - are blighted by overstretched infrastructure, where the slightest disruption results in thousands of passengers queuing in the terminal and dozens of aircraft circling overhead."
Their intervention comes after British Airways cabin crew voted by more than 8-1 to stage fresh strikes in their long-running row with the airline.
Ministers are this week expected to announce a policy review following decisions to reject a third runway at Heathrow and to ban expansion at Stansted and Gatwick.
In their letter, the business leaders said the review must address carbon reduction targets and local air pollution but, they added, "it cannot and must not ignore the economic benefits of flying".
"All options must be considered, short and long term, to address growing demand," they said.
Andreas Goss, the chief executive of Siemens, told the newspaper: "There is a fair chance that if Britain does not wake up and recognise that there needs to be a strategic decision in setting the stage for a new transport era, they will fall back."