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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson has called for both Heathrow and Gatwick to build two new international runways each, so the UK can remain economically competitive.
He told the Financial Sunday Express that the current schemes being debated are not enough and by the time the extra runway is built an entirely new airport will be needed.
“We urgently need those extra runways at Heathrow and Gatwick or we’ll go backwards,” Branson said.
Gatwick is currently competing with Heathrow to build a new runway, with the Airports Commission due to make a recommendation next summer on which airport should be expanded.
He added it was imperative that two new runways be built as quickly as possible, despite the objections of anti-aircraft noise campaigners.
He also hit out at the numerous delays that have marred the process for deciding how and where to expand Britain’s airport capacity and said that he fears any moves to build a new airport will be stymied by indecision.
He said: “That’s the problem with us, all we do is sit around not making a decision.”
Branson’s call for more airport capacity beyond the extra runway in the south east has been welcomed by business chiefs.
The director of the CBI John Cridland said that if the UK is to hit the Government’s target of doubling exports by £1 trillion by 2020, then airports in the UK would have to be expanded.