Search archive          Sign up for our Newsletters          Aviation Jobs
Latest Aviation News  |  Industry & Technology  |  Air Transport  |  MRO & Support  |  Aircraft Interiors  |  Editorials  |  Events Calendar  |  About UsFR
 
Aviation News UK Supreme Court rules Heathrow can have third runway

UK Supreme Court rules Heathrow can have third runway

AFP
17 DEC 2020 | 677 words

Britain's Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports, can build a third runway, overturning a legal decision to block the plan on environmental grounds as the aviation industry looks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The nation's highest court struck down a Court of Appeal ruling in February that the UK government had failed to take into account climate change commitments when in 2018 it approved the new runway at the London airport.

Heathrow successfully argued that the Court of Appeal had made errors of law.

Following the latest ruling, Friends of the Earth insisted the ruling was not a green light, saying the judgement still required Heathrow to address climate concerns.

Greenpeace urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to scrap the project, in the light of his government's targets on cutting carbon emissions.

Five years ago Johnson infamously vowed to lie down in front of the bulldozers to stop the runway being built.

It was his predecessor Theresa May who in 2018 approved a third runway, while Johnson has ignored his bulldozer pledge as he trumpets big infrastructure projects to help drive Britain's post-Brexit economy.

The Supreme Court said that the previous Conservative government had "no obligation" to consider the Paris climate agreement when it gave the nod to the extra runway.

While the UK government said building work could begin in 2022, Heathrow warned that it would delay construction by at least two years owing to the legal challenges and the coronavirus upheaval.

- 'Win against rivals' -

Heathrow airport hailed Wednesday's ruling, which it said would also allow Britain to compete with continental rivals following Brexit.

"Only by expanding the UK's hub airport can we connect all of Britain to all of the growing markets of the world, helping to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in every nation and region of our country," it said in a statement.

"Demand for aviation will recover from Covid-19, and the additional capacity at an expanded Heathrow will allow Britain as a sovereign nation to compete for trade and win against our rivals in France and Germany."

The airport added that it had "already committed" to net zero carbon emissions and that the latest ruling "recognises the robust planning process that will require... expansion is compliant with the UK's climate change obligations, including the Paris Climate Agreement."

- 'No green light' -

"This judgement is no 'green light' for expansion." said lawyer Will Rundle on behalf of Friends of the Earth.

"It makes clear that full climate considerations remain to be addressed and resolved at the planning stage.

"Heathrow expansion remains very far from certain and we now look forward to stopping the third runway in the planning arena," he added.

Greenpeace UK meanwhile urged the government to scrap the project.

"Now the ball is in the government's court, it's hard to imagine Boris Johnson wanting to resurrect a project that makes no business or environmental sense," said Greenpeace executive director John Sauven.

"With a UK-hosted climate summit just a year away, the government should draw a line under this sorry saga."

The ruling comes as the Covid-19 pandemic devastates demand for international air travel.

Heathrow last week said its Terminal 4 would remain closed until the end of next year because of the slump in passenger numbers.

Heathrow is owned by a consortium led by Spanish construction giant Ferrovial.

It includes also sovereign wealth funds from China, Singapore and Qatar as well as North American shareholders.

Despite remaining one of the world's largest airports, Heathrow was this year overtaken by Paris Charles de Gaulle as Europe's top hub in terms of passenger numbers -- blaming its relegation on delayed coronavirus testing and travel restrictions.

 
Top stories
22 DEC 2020
EasyJet delays delivery of 22 Airbus A320neo EasyJet delays delivery of 22 Airbus A320neo
EasyJet has delayed delivery of new Airbus planes, the British no-frills airline announced Tuesday, as the coronavirus pandemic destroys demand for air travel.A total ... Continue Reading
17 DEC 2020
Shareholders back Norwegian Air rescue plan Shareholders back Norwegian Air rescue plan
Shareholders of struggling low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle on Thursday backed a rescue plan that includes debt conversion, a new share issue and reduction ... Continue Reading
04 DEC 2020
Boeing scores first 737 MAX order since grounding Boeing scores first 737 MAX order since grounding
Boeing on Thursday picked up its first major order for the 737 MAX since the aircraft was grounded for 20 months following two fatal ... Continue Reading
09 DEC 2021
The world's first Airbus A320 freighter takes off
09 DEC 2021
NYCO signs a major strategic agreement with Air France to develop sustainable aircraft lubricants
09 DEC 2021
New long-term agreement between Safran and SIAEC on CFM International's LEAP engines
09 DEC 2021
Boeing to add two 737-800BCF conversion lines at STAECO's facility in China
09 DEC 2021
Sabena Aerospace to take over several maintenance activities from Lufthansa Technik
Top stories
 
Latest News     Industry & Technology     Air Transport     MRO & Support     Aircraft Interiors     Editorials
© 2022 Le Journal de l'Aviation - All rights reserved