Heathrow passes important milestone to approve third runway

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Heathrow Airport artist impression of third runway

Expansion of Heathrow Airport has passed the first milestone with the government publishing the draft National Policy Statement, setting out what the airport needs to do for a third runway to be approved.

The government will begin a 16-week public consultation, due to close on 25 May 2017, ahead of a vote in Parliament this winter, while a period of Parliamentary scrutiny begins with immediate effect ending by the summer recess 2017.

Heathrow Airport executive director for expansion, Emma Gilthorpe says: “We look forward to working with the Government, our local communities and our airlines throughout this consultation period to ensure Heathrow expansion is affordable and benefits all of Britain.”

The announcement has been welcomed by trade unions including Unite and the TUC. TUC deputy general secretary, Paul Nowak says: “Serious infrastructure projects like this are vital to strengthening our economy, securing investment and delivering on quality jobs. Britain needs to get building, and trade unionists stand ready to get going.”

The government has announced a number of conditions for Heathrow to comply with regarding compensation to communities affected by noise, payments for homes to be compulsorily purchased to make way for the runway and a ban on scheduled night flights.

Heathrow must also add six domestic routes across the UK by 2030, bringing the total to 14, something that has been welcomed by Leeds Bradford Airport.

Leeds Bradford Airport Aviation development director, Tony Hallwood says: “Expansion of the UK’s hub will boost businesses across the Leeds City Region, by attracting investment and reaching key international markets from Yorkshire via our direct connection to Heathrow.”