Heathrow's Extra Runway Needs Another Public Consultation

By Gary Cutlack on at

A third runway for Heathrow still isn't a done deal, you know, and the prospect of new delays to the start of the project have been raised by news that another consultation over the plan is to be launched.

Due to the impromptu general election we had to endure this year, evidence including "revised aviation demand forecasts" and the ongoing drama surrounding the government's air quality plan were missed out of the last consultation, meaning... another consultation. The Victorians would've just burned the houses down and got on with it.

Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, promised it would be a "short period of further consultation" that's required, although this could conceivably delay the necessary parliamentary vote on the matter past the anticipated 2018 date, making it possible that the third runway is already likely to struggle to meet its 2025 completion timeline.

And there's still hope for anti-expansion campaigners that it turns out that aviation demand is lower than expected and the pollution potential is a disaster, which could encourage MPs to rebel against it whenever the vote on the airports policy does happen. [Airports National Policy Statement]