16 October, etc.venues Monument
30 October, JW Marriott Grosvenor House
1st November 2023, etc.venues County Hall
London Mayor warns of court action
Transport secretary Geoff Hoon's go ahead for the third runway House met with strong reactions from both sides of the debate.
One of the loudest voices in support of the project was, unsurprisingly, British Airways' chief executive Willie Walsh.
Mr Walsh said the government had reached "a balanced decision in the long-term interests of the whole country" following six years of public debate.
"No-one can say the decision on a third runway has been taken hastily or without proper evaluation or research," he said.
Mr Walsh welcomed Mr Hoon's assurances of increased environmental safeguards which he said would allow the airport to "set new world standards for airport environmental performance."
But not everything met with Mr Walsh's approval. ‘Mixed-mode', which Mr Hoon said would intensify use of the existing runways, was ruled out.
Environmental activists and residents alike have maintained an increase in flights would increase pollution, both from noise and from aircraft emissions.
According to estimates, an expanded Heathrow at full capacity would become the biggest single source of C02 emissions in the country.
It would emit nearly 27m tonnes of CO2 every year - equivalent to the emissions of 57 of the least polluting countries in the world combined.
Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have both issued statements condemning the decision.
"This package is designed to patch up a cabinet split and will do very little to reduce the huge environmental impact of an expanded Heathrow, which will now become the single biggest emitter of carbon-dioxide in the country.
"These new emissions caps aren't even legally binding. The loopholes in this are so big you could fly a jumbo jet through them."
Proponents for Heathrow have maintained that new aircraft, such as Airbus' A380 superjumbo, are more fuel efficient, produce fewer emissions and are significantly quieter.
But Mr Sauven said "marginally" more efficient planes would not solve the problem of climate change.
"Hoping for an aeroplane that doesn't cause global warming is like holding out for a cigarette that doesn't cause cancer.
"The history of Heathrow shows that there's simply no way that the Government will build a £9bn runway then close it or restrict its use when these emissions caps are broken, as they most certainly will be," he said.
Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth's executive director, said expansion is a "hammer blow" for UK climate targets that will "shatter" Gordon Brown's international reputation.
He said: "We desperately need inspirational green leadership in the run-up to crucial UN climate talks later this year - not more polluting Brown policies.
"Talk of 'green slots', clean aircraft and long term targets for cutting emissions will not prevent soaring emissions.
"The best way for the Government to tackle air travel's contribution to global climate change is to abandon plans to expand UK airports.
Colin Matthews, BAA's ceo, welcomed the decision to go ahead with a third runway at Heathrow.
"This decision opens the door to Heathrow becoming a truly world class hub airport, and to the UK maintaining the direct connections to the rest of the world on which our prosperity depends.
"Meeting the environmental targets will be demanding, but, whilst we have to study the detail in today's announcement, we are determined to work with the rest of the aviation industry to achieve them.
"We are also fully aware that today's decision will be a difficult one for many, particularly those residents who will be directly affected by it. We intend to work with the local community as much as possible as we go through the planning process."
But Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, came out strongly against the approval and said he would support as legal challenge to the decision.
"This is a truly devastating blow for millions of Londoners whose lives are now set to be blighted by massive increases in air pollution
"The Government has singularly failed to deliver a convincing case for expansion throughout or adequate solutions for the nightmare problems this would cause.
"No amount of sweeteners in the shape of transport infrastructure will fundamentally alter the fact that the Government is hell-bent on exacerbating a planning error of the 1940s and that Heathrow is not fit for purpose.
"I am deeply concerned that the proper processes of coming to this decision may not have been followed, and will support a legal challenge should this prove to be the case. To this end we are currently considering today's announcement in detail."
Theresa Villiers, the Conservative shadow transport secretary, also slammed the decision.
The UK Guild of Travel Management Companies also welcomed the decision.
Philip Carlisle, its ceo, said: "Support for the expansion of Heathrow has been a constant theme in our meetings with political figures throughout 2008 and we are delighted to see the Government's decision on a 3rd runway.
"The Guild's focus has been, and continues to be, on ensuring that those doing business from the UK find travel as efficient and effective as possible. In the tough economic times that we all find ourselves this decision is a shot in the arm for UK industry."
Mike Carrivick, ceo of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK), said the new runway would offer "much needed capacity and also the resilience to maintain integrity of schedules when operational problems are encountered."
He added: "The UK needs and deserves a world-class airport, without which the economy of the entire country, not just the London area, will decline."
Richard Lambert, Director-General of the CBI, praised the plan for a high speed rail link to Heathrow.
"This approach to expanding Heathrow's capacity makes real sense. It will create the integrated transport system necessary for an economy that needs to grow in an environmentally sustainable fashion. "We strongly support the tough environmental standards which have been proposed for the aviation industry - they are stretching but achievable.
"It's right that full use of the new runway capacity should be dependent on Heathrow meeting strict environmental requirements."
www.ba.com www.greenpeace.org.uk www.foe.org www.baa.com www.london.gov.uk
www.conservatives.com www.gtmc.org www.bar-uk.org www.cbi.org.uk