According to CNN, the British government’s expansion plan, to build a third runway at London Heathrow Airport, has been blocked by an appeals court on environmental grounds.
Judges in the, closely-watched, case at London’s Court of Appeal said the UK government, which threw its support behind the proposal, had failed to take into account what impact the move would have on Britain’s commitments, under the Paris Agreement.
Following the announcement by the Court of Appeal this morning, Heathrow has released the following statement:
The Court of Appeal dismissed all appeals against the government – including on “noise” and “air quality” – apart from one which is eminently fixable. We will appeal to the Supreme Court on this one issue and are confident that we will be successful.
However the ultimate decision, over whether to fight for a third runway, lies with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has long opposed the idea and once said he would “lie down in front of the bulldozers” to stop it going ahead.
About London Heathrow
As the busiest airport in Europe, Heathrow Airport currently only has two runways. Their plan to build the third runway started a long time ago, as early as 2006.
This £1.4 billion project was constantly opposed by environmental groups. They have argued that the expansion would bring more noise and pollution to the community.
Even the largest operator at Heathrow, British Airways, was against this expansion plan. However, many other small airlines, like Virgin Atlantic, have high expectancy. The current slot cost is unbelievably high and the third runway would mean many extra opportunities for these airlines.
The most noteworthy deal was Oman Air’s purchase in 2016, with two slot pairs at Heathrow for £58 million from Air France-KLM. The following year, Scandinavian Airlines revealed that its two slot pairs at the airport were sold for almost £60 million.
To demonstrate how beneficial this expansion could be to the airline, Virgin Atlantic even announced a huge but mostly unreal future plan.