Heathrow wins court battle for third-runway plans

By Damian Brett

Heathrow Airport can progress plans for a third runway after the UK’s Supreme Court ruled in the favour of developers.

Previously the Court of Appeal had ruled that the development could not go ahead, as the government’s airport strategy — which included the development of Heathrow — did not meet climate targets.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that the strategy was based on previous climate targets and therefore could go ahead.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Only by expanding the UK’s hub airport can we connect all of Britain to all of the growing markets of the world, helping to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in every nation and region of our country.

“Demand for aviation will recover from Covid, and the additional capacity at an expanded Heathrow will allow Britain as a sovereign nation to compete for trade and win against our rivals in France and Germany.

“Heathrow has already committed to net zero and this ruling recognises the robust planning process that will require us to prove expansion is compliant with the UK’s climate change obligations, including the Paris Climate Agreement, before construction can begin.”

The plans for an extra runway at Heathrow are largely supported by the country’s freight and logistics groups that argue growing demand necessitates extra capacity at the UK’s busiest airport for cargo.

The developers can now apply for planning permission, but still face the hurdle of needing government approval for the scheme.

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