Commenting ahead of BAA's formal application for a second runway being built at Stansted airport, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“With the UK economy now facing a slowdown, it could not be more crucial that the country's third busiest airport is permitted to expand. We cannot simply shut up shop and allow our European competitors to benefit.

“It is critical that major infrastructure projects like Stansted are delivered swiftly, and this specific development highlights the need for the Government's independent planning commission to be established as soon as possible.

"We must have a quick and rational decision making process in place that brings an end to the cumbersome and expensive procedures inherent in the current planning system.”