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Revised draft national policy statement for third Heathrow runway published

Words: Laura Edgar
Third runway at Heathrow Airport / Heathrow Airport

The government has launched a consultation on a revised draft Airports National Policy for the expansion of Heathrow Airport so the public can respond to ‘new evidence’, including its national air quality plan.

The public and interested parties, who will also be able to take into account long-term aviation forecasts, have until 19 December to respond to the consultation.

The government said it expects to publish final proposals for expansion in the first half of 2018 for a vote in Parliament.

Once MPs have approved the final document, the policy statement sets the planning policy framework the airport will use to bring forward a planning application for a new north-west runway at Heathrow.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “Airport expansion is one of the most important type of infrastructure project for the UK – both in boosting our economy and jobs and promoting us on the world stage.

“Leaving the EU is a new chapter for Britain and provides us with a great opportunity to forge a new role in the world. We are determined to seize that opportunity and having the right infrastructure in place will allow us to build a more global Britain.”

“The case for expanding Heathrow is as strong as ever and we want to hear your views on it. This is an important consultation and I encourage everybody to get involved across the UK.”

In February this year, the government published an initial draft Airports National Policy Statement. It included a measure that would mean Heathrow would have to demonstrate that it has worked with other airlines on domestic connectivity. The government expects Heathrow to run six more domestic routes by 2030 – Belfast International, Liverpool, Newquay, Humberside, Prestwick and Durham Tees Valley.

This remains in the revised statement.

Grayling has also made airport noise for communities a top priority and will now have the power to review any changes to flight paths where they are of national significance.

The revised statement is still subject to parliamentary scrutiny by a select committee, which can be conducted concurrently with the consultation.

After consideration by a select committee scrutiny is complete, a final Airports National Policy Statement can be laid before Parliament for debate.

Revised Draft Airports National Policy Statement: New Runway Capacity and Infrastructure at Airports in the South East of England and the consultation can be found on the UK Government website.

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Image credit | Heathrow Airport