November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
The government has backed a third runway at Heathrow in the long-running saga over airport expansion.
In a statement, released by the Department for Transport (DFT), it said after years of delay the government is “taking decisive action” to secure the UK’s future in global aviation.
There will be a consultation process next year allowing MPs and the public to voice concerns over Heathrow expansion. Political heavyweights including Boris Johnson and education secretary Justine Greening are among a number of MPs ready to oppose the decision.
“The step that government is taking today is truly momentous,” the statement said. “This isn't just a great deal for business, it's a great deal for passengers who will also benefit from access to more airlines, destinations and flights.
“This is an important issue for the whole country. That is why the government's preferred scheme will be subject to full and fair public consultation. Of course it is also hugely important for those living near the airport.”
The government confirmed there will be a compensation and mitigation package worth £2.6 billion for those impacted by the third runway.
It added costs will be paid for by the private sector, “not the taxpayer”. “It will be for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as the independent industry regulator, to work with Heathrow Airport Ltd and airlines operating at the airport, on the detailed design and costs to ensure the scheme remains affordable. The government expects the industry to work together to drive down costs to benefit passengers. The aim should be to deliver a plan for expansion that keeps landing charges close to current levels.”
Slots and regional support
Expanding Heathrow was backed by a number of airports including Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham and the government has said it will support new connections to many UK regional airports with new domestic slots “ring-fenced” as part of the agreement.
There will be a six-and-a-half hour ban on scheduled night flights introduced for the first time as well as more stringent night nose restrictions – the timing of this ban will be determined through consultation.
Heathrow will pledge over £700 million for noise insulation for residential properties.
Reaction to follow...