In what is being described as a landmark vote, Parliament backed expanding Heathrow – ending decades of debate on one of the UK’s most contentious infrastructure issues.
415 MPs from across the political spectrum joined forces to support the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement.
The vote means that Heathrow can now submit an application for development consent for the project – unlocking billions of pounds in growth and creating tens of thousands of new skilled jobs across the UK in the early years of Brexit.
The independent Airports Commission and the Government ultimately decided that expanding Heathrow offers the greatest benefit to the whole of the UK, and it can be done in a sustainable way.
Over the next 12 months, the airport will sign £150 million worth of contracts with British businesses, creating 900 new jobs and 200 new apprenticeships.
Heathrow will also announce the locations of its off-site logistics hubs that will allow businesses across the country to get involved with what will be one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects.
In addition to the thousands of new jobs, the project will create for local residents, Heathrow has also made binding commitments to deliver a £2.6bn compensation package to local residents, implement a 6.5-hour ban on scheduled night flights and a triple lock guarantee to meet air quality obligations.
Heathrow will also release detailed plans over the coming months to deliver a skills strategy so local residents can benefit from up to 40,000 new skilled airport jobs that an expanded Heathrow requires – an opportunity that has the potential to end youth unemployment in local boroughs.
The £14bn private investment will be one of the largest private projects in Europe, transforming the country’s only hub airport and stimulating growth for the whole country.
With up to 40 new long-haul trading links, double the cargo capacity, more competition and choice for passengers and new domestic flights – an expanded Heathrow will make Britain one of the best-connected countries in the world and sends a signal that post-Brexit Britain is open for business.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Parliament has ended 50 years of debate by deciding that Heathrow expansion will go ahead.
“This vote will see us deliver more jobs, create a lasting legacy of skills for future generations and guarantee expansion is delivered responsibly.
“We are grateful that MPs have made the right choice for Britain and today we start work to create the best-connected hub airport in the world.”
Heathrow is currently preparing to hold a second public consultation on its plans before submitting a development consent order application to the Planning Inspectorate, kick-starting an approval process expected to take 18 months.
If Heathrow is granted development consent, construction would begin in 2021 ahead of the new runway opening in 2026.
Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport, said: “The House of Commons’ approval of the Heathrow third runway is a welcome sign of the Government’s commitment to providing much-needed aviation capacity in the South East.
“This is an important step forward which now needs to be backed up with swift and decisive action.
“This means ensuring all of London’s airports can make the best use of their existing capacity by improving links between rail and air and by modernising the UK’s airspace.”
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