Heathrow Expansion: Third Runway Approved By Government

Following the announcement, a public consultation will be held on the effects of airport expansion and then a final decision by the government, which will be part of a National Policy Statement on Aviation. This will be put to MPs for a vote in the winter of 2017/18.

A number of groups have come out in support of Heathrow, including devolved governments, many business leaders and politicians.

In a statement today, the government said expanding Heathrow will better connect the UK to long haul destinations in growing world markets, boosting trade and creating jobs.

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.

“A new runway at Heathrow will improve connectivity in the UK itself and crucially boost our connections with the rest of the world, supporting exports, trade and job opportunities. This isn’t just a great deal for business, it’s a great deal for passengers who will also benefit from access to more airlines, destinations and flights.

“This is an important issue for the whole country. That is why the government’s preferred scheme will be subject to full and fair public consultation. Of course it is also hugely important for those living near the airport.

“That is why we have made clear that expansion will only be allowed to proceed on the basis of a world class package of compensation and mitigation worth up to £2.6 billion, including community support, insulation, and respite from noise – balancing the benefits and the impacts of expansion.”

Heathrow said it was ready to deliver a third runway that is “fair, affordable and secures the benefits of expansion for the whole of the UK”.

But environmental groups have already attacked the decision. Friends of the Earth said expanding Heathrow “would be a hugely damaging blow for local people, and makes a complete mockery of government commitments to tackle climate change”.

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “A third runway at Heathrow would be a waste of time, money and lives. It would make Londoners’ air more dangerous to breathe, contributing to an air pollution crisis that already kills thousands.”

Other shortlisted options included extending an existing runway at Heathrow or building a second runway at Gatwick.

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