Third runway at Heathrow cleared for takeoff by ministers

THE government has approved a third runway at Heathrow to expand United Kingdom airport capacity following a cabinet committee meeting on Tuesday.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the “truly momentous” decision would support trade and create jobs, BBC reported.

Gatwick airport said it was disappointed with the decision, which was “not the right answer for Britain”.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – a vocal opponent of Heathrow – said a third runway was “undeliverable”.

The MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London doubted whether construction would ever start: “The day when the bulldozers appear is a long way off, if indeed they ever materialise.”

The government has approved a third runway at Heathrow to expand UK airport capacity following a cabinet committee meeting on Tuesday.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the “truly momentous” decision would support trade and create jobs.

Gatwick airport said it was disappointed with the decision, which was “not the right answer for Britain”.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – a vocal opponent of Heathrow – said a third runway was “undeliverable”.

The MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London doubted whether construction would ever start: “The day when the bulldozers appear is a long way off, if indeed they ever materialise.”

Expanding airport capacity in the South East of England has been a political hot potato for many years, which is why successive governments have attempted to duck the issue.

Although Heathrow has always been the favourite among businesses, it has attracted the most opposition from MPs with constituencies near the airport or under flight paths.

A study last year led by Sir Howard Davies recommended a third runway at Heathrow, but other options included a new runway at Gatwick or extending one of Heathrow’s existing runways.

Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond Park, had threatened to resign if Heathrow expansion was approved and called the announcement “catastrophic”. He is expected to make a statement later on Tuesday.

The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, whose Hayes and Harlington constituency includes Heathrow, said the announcement was the start, rather than the end, of the process.

“It beggars belief that it has taken ministers over a year since the publication of the Davies report to even make that start,” he said. “There is no justification for dithering on this scale.”

Education Secretary Justine Greening, another vocal critic of Heathrow expansion, is expected to give her reaction to her constituents in Putney, south-west London, later on Tuesday.

Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May moved to head off possible Cabinet resignations by giving ministers some freedom to speak out against the decision.

 

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