The Department for Transport has confirmed that the publication of the draft Airports National Policy Statement - which would start the ball rolling on a third runway at Heathrow (something manufacturers overwhelmingly back), will be delayed from the end of this year to the 'first half' of 2018 - potentially a 6 month delay.
For those taking notes:
The General election. The Transport Select Committee has to hold an inquiry (legally) on the Airports NPS and with a new Parliament it needed a new Chair and new Committee members. The new Chair (Lililian Greenwood MP) was only elected yesterday.
This is yet another example of politics getting in the way of critical upgrades to national infrastructure. Alongside today's delay there are lots of other things on the domestic policy agenda that we need to be cracking on with, importantly for manufacturers this includes completing the industrial strategy.
This government needs to shake the habit of finding reasons to delay or they risk creating the impression that everything is getting just a little bit too difficult for them. The impact on business confidence of continued delay on such major issues, within the current climate, could be chilling.