New UK runway faces major delay

No plane sailing for airports commission

The fight for the right to build Britain’s next new runway has seen huge campaigns by Heathrow and Gatwick.

But despite these concerted media efforts, the new runway has hit a serious obstacle.

Ministers will not respond fully to the Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, until the end of the year.

According to one Whitehall official, a more detailed response will come “before Christmas”, the FT reports.

The news will be a major disappointment for Heathrow and Gatwick bosses, as a full parliamentary reaction to the report was expected to be made over the summer.

It also points towards the fractured stance of the government on the placement of a new runway. Several cabinet ministers oppose the building of a third runway at Heathrow, including Philip Hammond, Justine Greening, and Greg Hands.

Meanwhile, Zac Goldsmith, the MP for Richmond, and the first big name politician to announce a mayoral bid, is vehemently opposed to expanding Heathrow, as is Goldsmith’s neighbouring politician and current London mayor Boris Johnson, who has even pledged to lie down in front of the bulldozers to prevent a third runway.  

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