Heathrow Airport 3rd runway expansion vote postponed again

Aerial view of Heathrow

A vote by Members of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons on whether a 3rd runway will be built at Heathrow Airport has been postponed again – to the first half of 2018.

In October last year the government formally gave its approval to building a new runway at the UK’s biggest port, but announced it was delaying the vote for about a year until winter 2017/18 after speculation PM Theresa May was worried about Tory MPs refusing to back it.

The general election being held in June and Brexit negotiations are thought to have put back the voting timetable.

Now the vote has been delayed again, but Chris Grayling, the transport secretary says the government is fully committed to realising the benefits that a new northwest runway at Heathrow would bring.

He says the expansion will bring economic growth, boost jobs and skills, strengthen domestic links and increase and develop international connectivity as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

Grayling adds in a written ministerial statement: “The timing of the election, in particular the need to re-start a select committee inquiry into the draft Airports NPS [national policy statement] means we now expect to lay any final NPS in parliament in the first half of 2018, for a vote in the House of Commons.”

Heathrow was given the backing over a second runway at Gatwick Airport and the expansion is supported by the British International Freight Association and Freight Transport Association.