Britain sets out plan for third runway at Heathrow

Plans for the third runway at Heathrow are to be published today as the British government begins a four-month public consultation on its decision to expand the country's biggest airport

2 February 2017, 8:22am
The British government backed a $22 billion expansion of Heathrow in October to end 25 years of indecision
The British government backed a $22 billion expansion of Heathrow in October to end 25 years of indecision
Britain is to lay out its proposals for a third runway at London's Heathrow airport on Thursday, launching a public consultation on a big infrastructure project the government sees as key to its post-Brexit future.

The British government backed a $22 billion expansion of Heathrow in October to end 25 years of indecision with an ambitious plan to boost global trade links following the vote to leave the European Union.

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, is expected to herald the launch as a sign that Britain will be open for business after Brexit and that the government is delivering the major infrastructure the nation will need.

The conditions for planning consent are being outlined in a national policy statement, the first step in enacting the decision the government made in autumn.

A policy statement will set out what planning regulations the proposed runway will need to meet to be approved and outline why Heathrow, on the western edge of London, is the preferred option.

MPs will still have to vote on the statement for it to become law.

“Aviation expansion is important for the UK both in boosting our economy and jobs and promoting us on the world stage. Leaving the EU is a new chapter for Britain and provides us with a great opportunity to forge a new role in the world,” Grayling will say, according to advance extracts of his speech.

“We are determined to seize that opportunity and having the right infrastructure in place will allow us to build a more global Britain. By backing the north-west runway at Heathrow airport and publishing our proposals, we are sending a clear signal that when we leave the EU, we are open for business.”

While the government says the new runway is vital for the economy and businesses, critics are concerned over the impact on local residents and the environment.