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Heathrow runway protesters "should expect jail terms"

A judge has labelled it the 'most serious aggravated trespass' she can imagine, and now 13 climate change protesters who brought Heathrow Airport to a standstill have been warned they're going to jail.

The members of the organisation Plane Stupid blocked a runway for 6 hours last July.

25 flights were cancelled and thousands of passengers were affected.

The group is anti airport expansion and was protesting against potential pollution should a third runway for the site be approved.

Sam Holder reports.

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ABTA welcomes Heathrow announcement

ABTA welcomes the Heathrow announcement Credit: ITV

ABTA welcomes today’s announcement by the Airports Commission that Heathrow Airport should be allowed to build a third runway. Increasing airport capacity is essential to the UK’s growth and global competitiveness; we are pleased that this recommendation has been arrived at through fair, transparent, and thorough processes and consultations.

Today’s announcement is the first step towards the delivery of urgently needed capacity at the UK’s hub airport and we now look forward to the Government’s response.

We call on Government to work across party boundaries and create a robust political consensus which will deliver this recommendation for UK businesses and passengers. ABTA will be working with the Government, as well as the opposition front benches to help build consensus.

– Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive

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Heathrow is preferred choice for new runway

Heathrow has been chosen for the new runway Credit: ITV

The Airports Commission has that recommended a new runway for the region should be built at Heathrow and not Gatwick. It says the Government should take also take "firm action" to rule out further expansion at the airport.

It also wants a ban on night flights, a highly controversial issue in the Thames Valley.

Sir Howard Davies who has spent two years looking at plans to expand Heathrow, Gatwick and for a new airport in the Thames Estuary says Heathrow is best.

In a 242 page report he says Gatwick put up a "credible option" but Heathrow is best placed. It will create 70,000 jobs by 2050.

Of Gatwick the report says:

"The scheme is feasible but the additional capacity would be more focused on short-haul intra-European routes and the economic benefits would be considerably smaller."

The report says at Heathrow there would be a boost to the economy of £147 billion over 60 years and add 40 new destinations. Around 800 homes would be demolished.

The plan is for a new runway north of the airport near to the M4 which would run over the M25 in a tunnel. A scheme known as Heathrow Hub, to extend an existing runway is ruled out because it would bring less benefit.

Gatwick says Heathrow third runway "unlawful"

Heathrow Airport Credit: ITV News

A third runway at Heathrow would be "unlawful", its rival Gatwick claimed today.

It says expansion at Heathrow would breach strict European air quality limits. Gatwick, meanwhile, claims it would meet all limits with a second runway and expansion should be in Sussex.

But Heathrow has hit back saying it would put measures in place to mitigate and the airport is the best place for expansion with tens of thousands of new jobs boosting the local economy.

The row erupted on the final day of consultation on pollution by the Airport Commission, which will make a recommendation on a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick in the next few weeks.

  1. Mike Pearse

Airport introduces Formula 1 technology for flights

Heathrow Airport has revealed it is operating on a knife edge every day - because the site is so busy, that it sometimes works close to full capacity.

Managers have said they are now introducing radical new measures to reduce daily delays and the massive chaos caused during bad weather and when things go wrong.

The changes include the installation of computer technology used by Formula One racing. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

Possibility of extra lanes on M25

Revised plans have been announced today for a third runway at Heathrow with radical plans to put extra lanes on the M25 near its junction with the M4.

The new runway will run over the M25 which would be put in a tunnel.

Airport managers say it will be able to add extra lanes to ease the worst bottleneck on the country.

They also announced they would be place the runway further south than in previous plans to reduce the number of homes to be demolished from 950 to 750.

Those hit will get the market value and 25% of the value of their property on top. Heathrow also announced plans for direct rail links from Reading and connecting to the South West Trains network. A new runway would double flight numbers to more than 700,000.

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