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Pilots' union: Heathrow expansion vital to UK economy

British Airways planes taking off and landing at Heathrow. Credit: PA

The pilots' union Balpa has welcomed the Government's decision to back a third runway at Heathrow, saying that it is "vital to the UK economy and aviation industry".

However, Brian Sutton, general secretary of Balpa, voiced dismay at the ongoing delay before the expansion takes place saying that Europe's busiest airport is already "operating at almost maximum capacity".

Mr Sutton said: "We are pleased the Government has finally taken a long overdue stance but it's disappointing the definitive vote will not take place for at least another year."

Grayling: I know this will be disappointing to Gatwick

Gatwick Airport had delivered a less expensive bid to build a second runway. Credit: PA

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling sent a message to Gatwick Airport after rejecting their expansion proposal in favour of building the third runway at Heathrow.

"I know this will be disappointing to them but Gatwick remains a really important part of our transport system and will continue being so," he said.


  1. London

Zac Goldsmith: Heathrow decision is 'catastrophic'

Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith has described the decision to confirm plans for a third runway at Heathrow as 'catastrophic'.

Government to propose Heathrow noise targets

A plane flies over homes near Heathrow. Credit: PA

The Government is to propose legally binding noise targets to provide respite for people living near Heathrow after a third runway was given the go ahead.

The Department for Transport added they would also propose a six-and-a-half hour ban on scheduled night flights from the airport.

The Department for Transport continued that the Government would publish a document in the new year on why Heathrow was the right choice, and that an additional study showed a new runway would be deliverable within air quality limits.

Grayling: Third runway is Britain's best option post-Brexit

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said building a third runway at Heathrow is the "clearest sign that this country is open for business" after the referendum.

He told ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship the Government's announcement was a "really big decision for this country".

We've thought long and hard about this. There were three very good options on the table but we believe a third runway at Heathrow is the best option for our future, it's the best for the whole country - it's going to create better connectivity to the different regions of the United Kingdom - and to provide the best trade links to the world.

– Transport Secretary Chris Grayling

Asked why the whole Cabinet couldn't support the project, Mr Grayling said: "It would be impossible to deliver a project like this without some people disagreeing with the strategy."

He said the third runway would "absolutely" be built.

Government confirms £17.6bn Heathrow third runway

The Heathrow expansion plans pledge to generate about 77,000 new jobs by 2030. Credit: PA

The Government has confirmed it has chosen to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport as its preferred airport expansion project.

The Department for Transport announced the £17.6 billion project after a Cabinet meeting of the airport sub-committee chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May.

The other shortlisted options - to extend an existing runway at Heathrow or build a second runway at Gatwick - were rejected in favour of a decision that will see more than 780 homes demolished in west London.

Fierce opponents of Heathrow expansion within Cabinet, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Justine Greening, will both speak out at the decision after being cleared by Mrs May to air their dissent.

The Government announcement ends more than a year of uncertainty since the Davies Commission came out in favour of Heathrow's third runway.

A public consultation will be held on the impact of the expansion before the final decision is put to MPs for a vote in the winter of 2017/18, with the runway unlikely to be in use before 2025.


Demolition of 'Jungle' camp delayed

The demolition of the "Jungle" camp in Calais has been delayed until Wednesday, ITV News has learnt.

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Dismantling of the camp had been expected to begin on Tuesday after migrants and refugees began leaving on Monday.

Some 1,918 residents packed their bags and were taken by bus to 80 accommodation centres on Monday, the first day of the mass exodus, the French Interior Ministry said.

Another 85 buses were expected to take residents away from the camp on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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