Green light for third runway at Heathrow

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  • roopimp

    Piece in the Guardian.

    Heathrow’s third runway gets go-ahead from Chris Grayling

    Tory splits mean government may have to rely on Labour and SNP to win parliamentary vote


    Yep, I’m sitting here imagining the future, as an 84 year old sitting on the inaugural EDI-LHR flight to use the new runway……… My 3rd generation solar powered Airbus Sunliner is on its final approach over West London, the robot crew member just clearing away the rubbish left over from our £327 sandwich and G&T.

    Roll on ….the year 2048 !!

    Tom Otley

    And other feedback..

    ABTA responds to the Government’s announcement Airports National Policy Statement

    Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s Chief Executive said:

    “ABTA welcomes the Government’s announcement of the Airports National Policy Statement and urges MPs to support expansion when they vote in Parliament in the coming weeks. While ABTA recognises that expansion must be delivered in a sustainable manner, constraints on airport capacity in the South East, in particular Heathrow, severely inhibit the UK’s ability to grow. In 2017, 78 million passengers passed through Heathrow, 67% on leisure trips and the rest on business. It is currently operating at almost 100% capacity.

    “Airport expansion will boost the wider UK economy, creating thousands of jobs and delivering the increased connectivity the UK needs, especially in a post Brexit world. However, it is also important that consumers aren’t burdened with the costs of expansion and that additional capacity is delivered in a cost-effective manner.”

    … and Stansted Airport

    Today, alongside confirming support for the development of a third runway at Heathrow, the Government has confirmed, in a statement to Parliament, its support for other UK airports looking to make best use of existing runway capacity. The policy makes clear that Government supports all UK airports making best use of their existing runways. This follows a consultation last year as part of the Government’s development of a new Aviation Strategy.”

    Please find link to the making best use section –

    In response to the Government statement, Ken O’Toole, London Stansted CEO, said:

    “Ahead of the anticipated decision from Uttlesford District Council relating to our application to increase the airport’s limit on passenger numbers to 43 million per year, we welcome today’s statement from Government confirming its support for airports looking to make best use of existing capacity.

    “It is vital for the UK economy that the country has the best possible aviation connections and that there is an urgent need to actively support airports, like London Stansted, that can deliver that access now.

    “Over the last five years we have increased passenger numbers by nearly 10 million, doubled the number of airlines and secured six new services to the most popular destinations for passengers from the region including Dubai, New York, Boston, Toronto and Washington.

    “Building on these successes, we are investing £600 million to improve the airport experience and have submitted a planning application to make best use of our single runway. This will unlock Stansted potential and enable us to serve up to 43 million passengers, deliver 50 percent of London’s expected passenger growth over the next decade and extend the choice of airlines and destinations we serve.”

    … and the GTMC

    GTMC welcomes Government approval of third runway at Heathrow

    Adrian Parkes, CEO, GTMC said:

    “We welcome the news announced today that the Government has given its long-awaited approval for a third runway at Heathrow. The GTMC has called for airport expansion in the South East for a number of years and the development of a third runway at Heathrow is key to realising ambitions for growth. Growth not only in airport capacity and the expansion of new routes but also the economic growth of UK PLC.

    “Our own research in partnership with Oxford Economics highlights that just a one per cent increase in international air business travel – which can only be achieved by airport expansion – will deliver £400m in knock on economic benefits. This is not a figure that government can ignore. As we seek to build trade relations and opportunities further afield post-Brexit, airport expansion is essential to safeguarding the future of our economy. The time for debate is over and we now urge the Government to act swiftly in turning plans into reality.”

    Representing a diverse range of travel management companies – from global companies to small independent specialists and top regional agencies – GTMC, originally founded in 1967, is the voice of business travel and acts to lobby those who have an impact on the business travel community, together with promoting the activities of its members as the best in quality and value to the business traveller.

    … and Heathrow

    Heathrow urges Parliament: “The world is waiting for Britain, vote for expansion”

    Government tables Airports National Policy Statement setting stage for Parliamentary vote within weeks
    MPs urged by businesses, unions and communities across Britain to help secure nation’s future prosperity by expanding Heathrow
    Heathrow expansion has strong cross-party support in Parliament, with latest independent polling showing 75% of MPs backing the project
    Vote will set the policy framework for Heathrow’s northwest runway development consent application – a project that is set to deliver tens of billions in economic growth and create tens of thousands of new skilled jobs, at no cost to the taxpayer

    MPs are being urged to help secure Britain’s future as a global trading powerhouse by backing an expanded Heathrow, after the Government announced plans for a Parliamentary vote on the Airports National Policy Statement within weeks.

    Following recent letters to politicians from Britain’s major business groups and trade unions, Heathrow is writing to all MPs today to tell them how their votes would “green light” the airport’s privately-funded expansion plans. The project is set to boost Britain’s economy by billions, open up to 40 new long-haul trading routes for Britain’s exporters, create tens of thousands of new skilled jobs across the country and lower airfares for passengers – all at zero cost to the taxpayer.

    The latest independent polling from ComRes shows strong cross-party support, with 75% of MPs backing Heathrow expansion following a rigorous selection process – culminating in the Government confirming Heathrow’s northwest runway as the preferred scheme for delivering much needed new airport capacity in the South East, based on the Airports Commission’s unanimous and unambiguous support for Heathrow’s plan and, more recently, the Transport Select Committee’s conclusion that Heathrow’s northwest runway plan offers the greatest strategic benefits for the UK.

    The Parliamentary vote will be a major milestone for Heathrow expansion and if successful will set the policy framework for Heathrow’s northwest runway application. Heathrow is currently preparing to hold a second public consultation on its plans before submitting a development consent application to the Planning Inspectorate, kick-starting an 18-month approval process.

    Commenting on the decision to table the vote, Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye said:

    “Together with our supporters across the country, we urge all MPs to vote for expansion. Their votes will connect all of Britain to global trade, increase competition and choice for passengers and create tens of thousands of new skilled jobs for future generations. The world is waiting for Britain. It’s time to vote for Heathrow expansion.”

    Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey strongly urged MPs to vote for expanding Heathrow, saying:

    “Heathrow expansion, one of the biggest construction projects in Europe, answers the demands of many Unite members across the UK – for more skilled, well-paid and sustainable jobs. Expansion will deliver these jobs and growth to every nation and region of the UK, whilst Heathrow deliver on the work they have been doing to address environmental concerns; all at a critical time for UK workers.

    “I would strongly urge Members of Parliament to vote in favour of expansion at Heathrow.”

    British Chambers of Commerce Director General, Dr Adam Marshall said:

    “Business communities across the UK want an end to decades of political indecision and an unequivocal green light for Heathrow expansion. A resounding vote for Heathrow expansion in Parliament would do more than just unlock this crucial infrastructure project, as it would give a huge boost to business confidence and investment at a time of significant change.”

    Executive Director of Back Heathrow Parmjit Dhanda said:

    “More residents living near the airport support Heathrow expansion than oppose it, so this is good news for local people who have been waiting for far too long for a decision.

    “The people that live in the diverse local communities near Heathrow are crying out for the jobs, apprenticeships and opportunities that a new runway will create. We urge MPs to listen to local people, who are the scheme’s greatest champions and its biggest beneficiaries. It’s time to get on and build it.”

    … and Virgin Atlantic statement on Heathrow expansion:

    Craig Kreeger, CEO Virgin Atlantic, said: “We applaud the Government’s decision today. Heathrow expansion is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that must not be squandered. As the UK’s only hub airport, an expanded Heathrow is uniquely placed to enable a transformative increase in airline competition for passengers – that will benefit international tourism, businesses and leisure passengers alike. Virgin Atlantic is ready to provide the enhanced choice, lower fares, and award-winning service that passengers deserve, as well as increased connectivity and access to new destinations around the world that exporters and a post-Brexit Britain needs.”

    · Virgin Atlantic is the second largest carrier at London Heathrow serving destinations across North America, Africa, India, China and the Middle East.


    Before we all want to open a bottle of champagne: let’s wait for a date when work on this runway will actually start and let’s have a date when this project will be finished and the runway will be operational.
    We, and not only those on this forum, have been discussing this expansion for ages now and hardly anything substantial has happened. Successive governments have tried to get things moving and failed miserably. From an economic perspective we have to hope this government succeeds it getting this started, if only they survive the mess they are in with Brexit. If not, we will probably have to wait even longer.

    I’m not that hopeful, but hope I’m wrong on this.


    If all goes well, the third runway at LHR will be operational by 2030. The opening will be coincidental with the opening of the third runway at LGW!!

    But, seriously, let’s have the six and a half hour respite NOW. Give the LHR area quiet nights NOW. At the same time enforce the same respite on LGW and MAN NOW. That’s how to make our large airports more user friendly!


    Just one stage of dithering over. It still has to go through some processes before it starts.

    Good choice for BA and its London-centric passengers. Bad choice for the regions, for Londoners, and for the environment.


    Tom, thanks very much for the report from ABTA. However, ABTA said “In 2017, 78 million passengers passed through Heathrow, 67% on leisure trips and the rest on business.”

    I wonder how on earth they know the business/leisure numbers – with such precision? I know that some airlines have boxes “Business or leisure?” to tick, but I believe they are not asking all Heathrow airlines for this information. I think it was an estimate, in which case they should say what it was.

    Thanks again for the detailed report, Tom!


    Rather, another red light. Wil be interesting to see what the Government do now – with (Lord) Zac in a position of (unelected) power, probably celebrate!


    Whilst somewhere else in the world …..

    Why are UK environmentalists so nimby in their thinking ?


    With a huge majority now, change the law, start work and ignore the judges who think they are above democracy.


    This will spur AMS and CDG to add extra runways….maybe even LGW!!


    The judges aren’t above democracy. That kind of language is dangerous. They only apply the law as has been set by the governments. If the laws are poorly framed / worded then that is the fault of previous governments. Or if well written then the laws are in place to stop governments doing whatever they feel they can get away with and do things properly and factor in all the responsibilities that they should take into account.

    Personally I’m split. It isn’t Nimbyism and the sooner the population of the UK & World understand that the climate situation needs urgent attention and massive changes on every level the better. That does mean less airport and airplane expansion (amongst many many other things). Forever growing airports / air travel is just not compatible with reducing our environmental footprint. On that basis it is absolutely the right decision. However I do understand as a travel lover that another runway would have been a good thing, on an economic level as well for the UK. But even on this argument we have to stop this them & us mentally (oh well CDG/AMS will build more runways now) and understand if the world keeps doing what it is doing then that will all be for nothing anyway. It is an incredibly narrow minded way of looking at a massive global problem, and simply saying if we don’t do it someone else will is an incredibly childish position to take. We need to rise above this type of rhetoric and thinking.

    Given the costs being mooted for the runway I’m not even sure it’ll happen anyway and everyone probably looking for a way out!

    5 users thanked author for this post.


    With a huge majority now, change the law, start work and ignore the judges who think they are above democracy.

    Suits Boris’s agenda , and gets him off the hook …..lucky boy

    And it’s all fantastic for the environmentalists who don’t seem to mind planes queuing above SZE England and on the ground polluting the local Hounslow area.
    Post Brexit, it also taps into some folks insular xenophobic mind set and others finding an excuse to blame our stagnating economic (export) on everything Brexit neglecting the obvious factors like blocks on critical infrastructure.

    Another decision based on emotional blackmail rather than hard facts !! We’d better get use to this !!

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    Oh dear. Yet another “enemies of the people” type troll.

    When the most senior ministers in an administration do almost nothing other than tell lies, when most of the print meedjah supinely refuses to call this out and criticise a government for which such behaviour has become their standard operating procedure and when the “official Opposition” is a walking, talking self-parody of an excuse for ineptitude, who else is there to hold government to account? The judiciary, that’s who.

    And just when I had thought that Trumpian levels of mendacity and stupidity were for over the pond.



    Another decision based on emotional blackmail rather than hard facts !! We’d better get use to this !!

    Which “hard facts” does this decision challenge? There are laws instituted by a sovereign UK Parliament (this case had nothing to do with any EU legislation I am given to understand) upon which the court was called upon to adjudicate. And it did so.

    Critical infrastructure does not all have to be London-centric. Indeed, I had thought that this was a leading complaint of the apostles of Brex**it such as yourself? This really does sound like you’ve advocated moving the goal posts – and are now complaining that the goal posts got moved.


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