News story

Government agrees final proposal for Heathrow expansion

The proposed Airports National Policy Statement supports a new north-west runway at Heathrow Airport.

Why is a new runway at Heathrow the government's preferred choice?

Today (5 June 2018) ministers have set out final proposals to back Heathrow expansion – moving Britain a significant step closer to more flights, more jobs and greater economic growth.

Marking an important milestone in building a global Britain, the government has published the proposed Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), backing Heathrow expansion through developing a new north-west runway.

Airports National Policy Statement on a proposed a new runway at Heathrow

Under the proposal, expansion will be delivered in a cost-efficient and sustainable way, with a comprehensive package of measures to support affected communities and protect the environment.

Heathrow will be privately financed and costs will not fall on the taxpayer. To make sure expansion is delivered with consumers’ interests at heart, the government has asked the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure the scheme remains affordable while meeting the needs of passengers.

More jobs: Heathrow expansion would create tens of thousands of new local jobs.

A new runway at Heathrow would provide benefits of up to £74 billion to passengers and the wider economy and create tens of thousands of local jobs. It will better connect the UK to the rest of world with an extra 16 million long-haul seats available by 2040.

Heathrow is already the UK’s biggest airport for passengers and freight and the north-west runway will almost double the airport’s capacity for goods, allowing businesses across the country to increase their exports and take advantage of new global customers.

More exports: expansion would almost double freight capacity at Heathrow.

The benefits of expanding Heathrow will be felt across the country as there will be more flights around the UK, better connecting Scotland, Northern Ireland, the North and the South West to new global markets via London.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

Expansion at Heathrow presents a unique opportunity to deliver a multi-billion pound boost to our economy, strengthen our global links and maintain our position as a world leader in aviation.

As we leave the EU, the UK must remain one of the world’s best-connected and outward-looking countries and a third runway at Heathrow is the best option to deliver this.

We have listened to views through our consultations and will ensure a world-class package of measures to help any local communities affected by the expansion.

More UK connections: other UK airports would have more access to Heathrow.

The NPS takes into account public and industry feedback and recommendations made by the Transport Committee to ensure that airport expansion in the south-east will be delivered in a way that is cost-efficient, sustainable and in passengers’ best interests.

This includes a world-class package of compensation and mitigation measures to support those affected by the expansion, with up to £2.6 billion for compensation, noise insulation and community amenities, which could include improvements to parks and leisure facilities.

These are reinforced by plans for a 6.5 hour scheduled night flight ban and noise restrictions which will be legally enforceable.

Lower fares: more competition between airlines at Heathrow would help keep ticket prices low.

The government has also announced the creation of a new Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise, which will be an independent expert voice on noise issues, acting as a link between airport operators, airlines and local communities.

To protect the environment, development consent would only be granted on the basis that the new runway is delivered within existing air quality obligations.

Over the next few weeks Parliament will have the opportunity to debate and vote on the NPS.

More choice: Heathrow expansion would open up new destinations for travel.

The government has also today committed to supporting all airports beyond Heathrow making best use of their existing runways, including those in the south-east, as long as they address economic and environmental planning issues.

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Published 5 June 2018