Wednesday 26 October 2016

Heathrow to Get its Third Runway


A third runway is to be built at Heathrow, the government has revealed a new plan, which will paving the way for hundreds of thousands more flights a year at the airport in west London.

In a long-awaited response, ministers have endorsed the recommendation of the Airports Commission to expand Heathrow rather than Gatwick airport, which had hoped to build a second runway.

The move comes six years after the Conservative-led coalition scrapped previous plans for a third runway at Heathrow.

The Department for Transport said: "In a major boost for the UK economy the government today announced its support for a new runway at Heathrow – the first full-length runway in the south-east since the second world war."

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, said: "The step that government is taking today is truly momentous. I am proud that after years of discussion and delay this government is taking decisive action to secure the UK's place in the global aviation market – securing jobs and business opportunities for the next decade and beyond."

The government said it would propose a six-and-a-half-hour ban on scheduled night flights, and will make more stringent night noise restrictions a requirement of expansion. It will also propose new legally binding noise targets.

The government confirmed the scheme would be taken forward in the form of a draft national policy statement, which will be consulted on in the new year.

It said it underlined its commitment to keeping the UK open for business and as a hub for tourism and trade, adding that a new runway at Heathrow would bring economic benefits worth up to £61bn, as well as creating up to 77,000 additional local jobs.

The decision to expand Heathrow will be voted on by parliament in 2017 or 2018. Under the airport's proposed scheme, an additional runway and a sixth terminal will be built to the north-west of the existing airport perimeter at a cost of £17.6bn. The nearby village of Harmondsworth will be demolished.

Widespread protests and legal challenges are expected to follow Tuesday's decision, with campaigners expected to focus on air quality, noise and Britain's climate change commitments. The runway, which could be built by 2025, would lead to almost 50% more planes over London, bringing new neighbourhoods under the flightpath.

It is understood Justine Greening, the education secretary, will restate her opposition to Heathrow expansion in a statement for constituents later on Tuesday afternoon. She is not expected to give any broadcast or press interviews.

Under the terms of Theresa May's limited suspension of collective responsibility, Greening will be able to continue expressing her discontent with the decision without actively campaigning against it.



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