Heathrow's Third Runway Gets Government Green Light

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Third runway at Heathrow Airport

After months of protests, the controversial plans for Heathrow to expand have been given the green light by the Government.

In an announcement to the Commons on Thursday, January 15, Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon outlined plans for the £9 billion expansion, as well as attempted to appease the concerns of environmentalists and campaigners whose opposition to expansion has been particularly vociferous. According to Hoon, to limit noise and emissions "only the cleanest planes (will be) allowed to use the new slots that will be made available".

In response to the news, BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: "This decision opens the door to Heathrow becoming a truly world class hub airport, and to the UK maintaining the direct connections to the rest of the world on which our prosperity depends.

"Meeting the environmental targets will be demanding but, whilst we have to study the detail in today's announcement, we are determined to work with the rest of the aviation industry to achieve them.

"We are also fully aware that today's decision will be a difficult one for many, particularly those residents who will be directly affected by it. We intend to work with the local community as much as possible as we go through the planning process."

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