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Heathrow Airport expansion approval triggers controversy

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eathrow Airport has received backing from the UK Parliament to build a third runway in a controversial decision that has sparked division amid Conservative and Labour MPs.

The UK’s largest airport and the second busiest in the world, Heathrow Airport was given the green light with a majority of 296 votes in a Commons vote after receiving Cabinet approval earlier this month.

The proposed expansion is forecast to cost about £14bn and could lead to hundreds of homes being demolished. Campaigners say it will also bring serious environmental damage and increase noise pollution.

A new runway, however, would boost Heathrow’s capacity from 85.5 million passengers to 130 million, and the project is expected to create 114,000 jobs, with an extra 16 million long-haul seats by 2040.

Tony Arbour, chairman of the London Assembly

The London Assembly unanimously opposes the expansion of Heathrow Airport on the grounds of air pollution, noise and the health impact it will have on Londoners. Together with the Mayor [of London], we shall seek to overturn this calamitous decision.

Image courtesy of London Assembly

Robert Carey, chief commercial officer at EasyJet

EasyJet supported the Airports Commission’s clear and unanimous recommendation and agrees that expansion at Heathrow will provide the greatest passenger and economic benefits, including lower fares by opening up the airport to increased competition.

Image courtesy of easyJet

Mathew Riley, managing director of engineering and design consultancy Ramboll

Whilst this is good news for the economy and our industry, the reality is that it has taken successive governments 20 years to make a decision, and we still have the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn saying he may reverse this decision if Labour forms the next government.

Image courtesy of Ramboll

Surinder Arora, founder and chairman of Arora Group

This stamp of approval from MPs for Heathrow expansion is a vital further step – but there now needs to be an independent process to determine who can best deliver each element of the expansion. Costs must be kept down for the expansion to work and Heathrow’s track record should be a cause for concern.

Image courtesy of Arora Group

Craig Kreeger, CEO of Virgin Atlantic

We firmly believe that Heathrow is the right choice for expansion and applaud this landmark parliamentary vote. As the country’s only hub airport, Heathrow is uniquely placed to support continued growth in UK trade and tourism, sending a strong signal to the world that we’re open for business.

Image courtesy of SITA via Flickr

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