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The government needs to make an "urgent and immediate decision" on the expansion of airport capacity in the South East, a group of MPs has said.

Following the vote to leave the European Union, then transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said a decision would be delayed again until October, having already been pushed back in December 2015.

The government is considering evidence on whether to build a third runway at Heathrow, or a second at Gatwick. The British Infrastructure Group (BIG) - a cross-party group of MPs led by Conservative MP Grant Shapps - said "substantial damage to the industry as a whole" is being caused by the lack of capacity at Heathrow.

In its recommendations to the government, BIG said: "The problem of capacity at the current hub, Heathrow, is causing substantial damage to the industry as a whole.

"It erodes confidence in the government's stated ambition of growing the economy and our international trade."

"Only their expansion can address the coming 'capacity crunch' and deliver sustained growth, underlining the concepts of the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine and sharing the proceeds of growth across Britain," the report said.

The expansion of Heathrow is the preferred option by Sir Howard Davies, who led the report into the expansion of capacity. It has an estimated cost of around £18.6 billion, largely due to the need to build a new tunnel for the M25.

In May, Heathrow pledged to reduce night flights, noise and pollution in a bid to satisfy environmental and quality of life concerns from local residents.