“We believe this is a legal disaster for the AIRPORTs National Policy Statement (ANPS) in its current form,” said Judge Keith Lindblom. The government will now have to review the policy if it wants it to move forward, he added. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has asked the UK to support the Heathrow project. “This is not the end of the road. It`s very fixable,” CEO John Holland-Kaye told Sky News on Thursday. Heathrow believes that a recently launched plan by the UK aviation industry to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will help reverse the decision. Heathrow Airport, which is owned by Ferrovial in Spain, the Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp, said it would challenge the decision in the Supreme Court, even if the government does not. Heathrow and its supporters say the UK`s exit from the European Union makes the expansion plan decisive so that the country can increase trade with the rest of the world. The third planned runway would be the first take-off and landing runway to be built in the London area in 70 years. As part of the 14 billion pound ($18.2 billion) expansion plan, the new Heathrows runway would be open in 2028. Should it be abolished, airlines and business groups will look for answers where new capacity can be added, as the UK`s second largest airport, Gatwick, south London, is also full during the summer months.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was a vocal opponent of enlargement that was approved under the previous government. During last year`s campaign, he said he had to find a way to keep an old promise to lie down in front of bulldozers at Heathrow to stop the plans. The judge said the government`s policy in its current form had ignored the government`s commitments on climate change when the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. In 2014, Johnson advocated a 112 billion pound plan to build a new airport in the Thames Estuary, but the Airports Commission dismissed it as too expensive, risky and complicated. Ten years ago, a plan for a new runway was rejected before a commission set up by the government carried out a three-year study that recommended a new extension in 2015, thus launching the latest project. Heathrow is the UK`s largest port in terms of value and accounts for 40% of exports in 2019, but its two runways are at full capacity and the airport will be eclipsed in two years as Europe`s richest in Paris, after previous attempts to expand it failed. LONDON (Reuters) – The proposed expansion of London`s Heathrow Airport was ruled illegal by a court on Thursday on environmental grounds. Environmental activists such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, as well as local authorities opposed enlargement, welcomed the verdict and said recognition of climate change commitments could have consequences for other projects. The government has said it will not appeal the verdict and is raising questions about the future of a project that has been the subject of intense discussion in Britain for nearly half a century. “This ruling has greater effects on keeping climate change at the heart of all planning decisions,” said Will Rundle, director of the legal department of Friends of the Earth. In a victory for climate activists, an appeal judge said the government`s climate change commitments were “legally fatal” for plans to build a third runway at Europe`s busiest airport.
In order for the new runway to continue now, the Department of Transportation would have to amend its policy statement, but remained silent on Thursday.