Business leaders have warned of a negative impact on the economy after the Department for Transport put back a call for evidence on aviation capacity in the South East of England until the autumn.
The long awaited announcement was left out of the Aviation Policy Framework Consultation published last week.
It came just days after experts told NCE of the urgent need for a decision on infrastructure to keep up with the forecast growth in air travel.
CBI senior policy advisor Matthew Sheldon said: “We wanted to see the kick-off of a serious feasibility study of the different options - we have not got that yet.
“The link between air links and economic growth is very well established. The UK does much more trade with markets it has a daily flight to than with those it does not.
“We are already losing out on flights to China and other emerging countries to other European countries with greater capacity.”
The published framework included a package of measures aimed at delivering operational improvements within existing airport capacity constraints.