The Government should not put all its eggs in one basket on airport expansion


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Commenting on the Government giving the green light to Heathrow expansion, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“After over 60 years without building a full-length runway in the southeast of England, business and consumers should be relieved that at last we have some movement in the interminable debate around UK airport expansion.

“There is cause for concern, however, that the Government is putting all its eggs in one basket. If Heathrow expansion falls at legal, or even Parliamentary hurdles, we could see ourselves back to square one. The government needs to remove itself from the decision-making process; the present approach to planning decisions gives the political elite too much power and too much weaponry to a small number of local complainants, at the expense of our floundering aviation sector.

“Instead of constant political introspection, it’s about time that priority is given to foster a mechanism of compensation for local residents who could be affected by expansion. Market based processes are clearly preferable, and if these prevailed we’d see the green-light given to a multitude of airports, to the benefit of the UK economy.”

Notes to editors: 
For media enquiries please contact Stephanie Lis, Director of Communications: [email protected] or  07766 221 268

The IEA’s report De-politicising Airport Expansion, which calls for a new market mechanism to solve airport capacity issues, can be downloaded here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

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