United Kingdom government approves Heathrow Airport expansion

I Daniel Blake still

Terminal 5 was originally approved with Heathrow promising these slots but they never materialised and we were left without.

The government expects the Heathrow expansion to generate 61 billion pounds or $75 billion for the country's economy over 60 years. "If the United Kingdom government is serious about its focus on economic growth and preserving the country's global positioning, it needs to truly embed air connectivity and sustainable airport development in its economic strategy".

Essex County Council has welcomed the plans and is calling on the Government to start the process quickly. The new runway should almost double its capacity to 138 million passengers by 2050.

Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, backed expansion of Heathrow but said if there was to be a new runway at any other airport then Birmingham might be the best place to build it.

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Expanding airport capacity is a political hot potato for a long time, which is why successive governments have tried to duck the issue.

"A new runway at Heathrow will be devastating for air quality across London - air pollution around the airport is already above legal levels of NO2", he said.

"We have seen some global progress on tackling carbon emissions from aviation recently...the government must ensure that current legal European Union air pollution limits are retained after we leave, to protect the health and wellbeing of local people", said chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh.

"We are working together in support of the Newcastle routes; we want to grow connections between Newcastle and Heathrow".

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "This is the wrong decision for London and the whole of Britain".

A public consultation will now be held on the effects of airport expansion before the government makes a final decision as part of a National Policy Statement on Aviation.

It is also a major economic driver for the south-east region, generating around 21,000 on-airport jobs and a further 10,000 jobs through related activities.

Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, said: "This is excellent news - we've been campaigning for this for years now, but we've always known it was a matter of capacity at Heathrow and the third runway will give us that".

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