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Heathrow Expansion Hits Snag

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There is no decision on Heathrow expansion but the government agrees with the Airports Commission that the south-east needs more runway capacity by 2030….reports Asian Lite News

BA AThe Government has accepted the case for airport expansion in the south-east and the Airports Commission’s shortlist of options for expansion. But it has delayed a decision on whether to expand Heathrow Airport until next summer.

An independent report on airport expansion by Sir Howard Davies in July backed a plan to build a third runway at Heathrow. But it added that the new runway should come with severe restrictions to reduce the environmental and noise effects. This latest development means that expansion at Gatwick is still an option. Business forums are campaigning for an early decision and supporting the expansion plans.

The Airports Commission published a large amount of very detailed analysis on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions for their three shortlisted schemes. The Government faces a complex and challenging decision on delivering this capacity. The Airports Commission’s air quality analysis will be tested using the latest projected future concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.

The next step is to continue to develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people and the environment. This will include a package for local communities to include compensation, maximising local economic opportunities through new jobs and apprenticeships, and measures to tackle noise. More work will be done on environmental impacts. The Government expects the airports to put forward ambitious solutions.

The mechanism for delivering planning consents for airport expansion will be an Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), following which a scheme promoter would need to apply for a Development Consent Order.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: “The case for aviation expansion is clear – but it’s vitally important we get the decision right so that it will benefit generations to come. We will undertake more work on environmental impacts, including air quality, noise and carbon.

“We must develop the best possible package of measures to mitigate the impacts on local people. We will continue work on all the shortlisted locations, so that the timetable for more capacity set out by Sir Howard is met. At the first opportunity I will make a statement to the House to make clear our plans.”