UK Parliament Approves Third Heathrow Runway
The UK parliament has voted to approve the construction of a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport, in a boost to the airport that is now operating at near full capacity.
The vote in the House of Commons was 415 to approve, 119 against, a 296 vote majority.
The government backed the construction of the new runway, with a cabinet meeting earlier this month approving the plan.
The UK’s Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said at the time “Expansion at Heathrow presents a unique opportunity to deliver a multi-billion pound boost to our economy, strengthen our global links and maintain our position as a world leader in aviation.”
The plan for Heathrow expansion includes the new runway to the northwest of the existing two parallel runways. The extra capacity will allow the airport to handle up to 260,000 additional flights a year.
Extensive road realignment and construction will also be needed with the new runway set to pass over the busy M25 arterial motorway that circles London.
The proposal has gained a wide range of support, ranging from business to unions, but Heathrow expansion has been strongly opposed by local residents and a number of government MPs, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who has vowed to stop construction. Johnson was in Afghanistan on Monday and missed the parliamentary vote.