Appeal Court rules government's decision on Heathrow expansion "unlawful"

28 Février, 2020, 02:11 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The expansion would allow for 700 more planes every day

The appeal was brought by a group of councils in London affected by the expansion, environmental charities including Greenpeace, Friends Of The Earth and Plan B, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The move will mark a new period of uncertainty in the lengthy and controversial debate over whether to build a third runway at the site - which would have made Heathrow one of the world's biggest airports in terms of traffic.

"Airport expansion is core to boosting global connectivity", Shapps tweeted, noting that any Heathrow expansion must be "industry led", not pushed by the government. "Those matters are the Government's responsibility and the Government's alone".

The government said it would not appeal the ruling, raising questions about the future of a project which has been hotly debated in Britain for nearly half a century.

The airport says definitely not.

"We will appeal to the Supreme Court on this one issue and are confident that we will be successful".

John Stewart, who chairs anti-expansion group Hacan, said: "This ruling has killed off the third runway for good".

No, there is a long list of other concerns such as air quality, noise and potentially higher fares.

Boris Johnson is personally against the scheme and when he was London mayor he promised to "lie front of those bulldozers" to stop the runway being built.

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"Although it invites the Government to review its policy, I suspect that the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, doesn't want to review the policy and will use this as a way of killing off the third runway".

Last year, the United Kingdom also became the first of the major Group of Seven countries to enact a pledge aiming to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 - a pledge that the office of Chris Grayling, then the secretary of state for transport, failed to keep in mind when crafting the plans in its Airports National Policy Statement.

The Airport Operators' Association said some regional airports like Bristol, Birmingham, East Midlands and Southampton will be running at full runway capacity by 2050, along with all of London's airports.

Gordon Brown's Labour government gave the project the go-ahead in 2009, but it was scrapped by the subsequent coalition government of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in May 2010.

In 2018, lawmakers voted 415 to 119 in favour of building the new runway.

It said that it is set to be overtaken as Europe's busiest airport, strengthening the case for expansion. The cost of the project was initially estimated at £14 billion ($17.8bn) but has since risen to £32bn ( $40.6).

Expansion would be paid for by the airport, but ultimately much of the money would come from passengers through fees levied on airlines.

Plans for a third runway - which had been on track to open in 2028-29 - would have rerouted rivers, roads and the M25 and contributed an estimated 3-4million tonnes to UK's carbon emissions.


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