UK MPs have voted to go ahead with plans to add a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport. The vote was passed by a majority of MPs – 415 votes to 119.
The expansion will bring in 100,000 extra jobs, the government has said, and will supposedly benefit the entire country by guaranteeing internal flights throughout the UK. The vote secures £14 billion of private investment and will allow for 40 new long-haul trading links, double the cargo capacity and more competition and choice for passengers.
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.”
However, the environmental impact of the third runway has caused concern for many, including charity Greenpeace. The government has stated that the project can be completed sustainably, though this of course does not take into account the extra air traffic that will result from the new runway.
The next stage for the expansion will first see the Secretary of State for Transport to designate the final Airports National Policy Statement approved by Parliament, which is expected to happen in the next few days. Heathrow will then have to submit a development consent order, which will begin an 18-month approval process. If all goes to plan, construction will start in 2021 and be completed in 2026.