Heathrow airport expansion gets government approval
West London News 26th October 2016
Transport secretary hails ‘truly momentous’ move but widespread protests and legal challenges are expected to follow decision.
A third runway is to be built at Heathrow, the government has decided, 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.
Grayling told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “One of the things Heathrow have been looking at is doing what many other airports have done around the world, which is to build the runway over the top of the road rather than underneath it.”
He said the government was working to make sure the third runway was affordable and a ramp was a cheaper and quicker way of doing it than tunnelling. “I am very concerned to make sure it doesn’t cause massive disruption on the M25,” he said.
The proposals will be scrutinised in a public consultation before a decision is taken and documents released on Tuesday by the DfT contained correspondence from Highways England, the body in charge of Britain’s major roads, showing that it considered the M25 scheme a major risk.
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. Source Guardian
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.”
Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith is set to resign and force a byelection in protest after the government finally gave the go-ahead to a third runway at Heathrow airport, a decision it hailed as “momentous”.