Heathrow or Gatwick expansion decision put off until Winter 2017

British Airways A380 at London Heathrow (Image: Aviation Media Agency)
British Airways A380 at London Heathrow (Image: Aviation Media Agency)

Following hot off the press that the Heathrow Gatwick decision would be made next week, a downing street spokesperson has now backtracked saying that Theresa May will not make a decision until Winter 2017.

Theresa May had earlier told ministers at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting that a decision on increasing airport capacity in the South East had been “delayed for too long” and that it was important to now take a decision “in the national interest” but has since delayed the decision until Winter 2017.

Ministers have been told that they will be allowed to voice their personal views on the issue in an unusual move ahead of the decision by the airports sub-committee, chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Heathrow is the preferred option by Airlines and business leaders according to many sources however many high profile MP’s including Zac Goldsmith, who said he will resign is Heathrow is chosen, oppose this. Many campaigners suggest Gatwick is the sensible option given the less constricted airspace and space around the airport.

Heathrow already runs at near capacity with airspace over central London heavily congested. Air pollution is also a major factor in the central London area and adding a third runway to Heathrow would potentially increase already high levels of hydrocarbons in the air.

Approximately 60 Tory MP’s are expected to vote against Heathrow. It is not yet known if Theresa May will allow MP’s a free vote on the issue.

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