Heathrow Airport's plans for a third runway have received backing today from 100 leading UK companies.
In a statement appearing in UK national newspapers today the firms, which include a number of finance and construction companies, said the expansion needs to go ahead within strict environmental standards.
The combined revenue of the public and private companies is in excess of £480bn. Together, the organisations employ more than 825,000 people in the UK.
The statement said: "Heathrow Airport is vital for business. It offers the direct connections which make our companies globally successful, and which will be all the more important as India and China grow.
"That's been recognised by our European competitors – Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt airports will each have at least four runways by 2012. And that's why Heathrow needs a third runway built within strict environmental standards. Britain is at the heart of the global economy. Let's make the right decisions to keep us successful."
Richard Lambert, Director-General of the CBI said: "This statement from a wide cross-section of British business demonstrates just how important good international transport links are to the long-term competitiveness of the UK
"If the UK is to remain an attractive place for them to locate, we need good, direct access to the global economic powerhouses such as China and India," he said.
The 100 companies supporting the motion:
Asian Business Association
British American Tobacco
British Chambers of Commerce
British Hospitality Association
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Construction Products Association
Ernst & Young
JP Morgan Cazenove
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
London Stock Exchange
The Sage Group plc
Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Scottish Council for Development and Industry
Tate & Lyle
Turner and Townsend
Thames Valley Economic Partnership
Ulster Bank Group
West London Business
Wragge & Co LLP