Heathrow WILL get a third runway says Government
Gordon Brown is insisting that a third runway will be built at Heathrow, even though a High Court judge last week sided with environmental campaigners who want to block the airport's expansion plans.
The Government is keen to see a third runway at Heathrow as immediately prior to the recession the airport was operating above capacity and Mr Brown fears that unless the airport can expand to handle more passengers Britain will lose business traffic to other European countries, such as France and Germany.
Leisure travellers will also be hit as holiday flights will be forced out of Heathrow to other airports, such as Gatwick, Stansted and Luton.
A coalition including Greenpeace, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and six local authorities brought the case to the High Court, claiming that another runway at Heathrow would bust Britain's legally-binding climate change targets.
Lord Justice Carnwath upheld their complaint but he warned the coalition that although they had won the first round of the battle with the government, they were far from winning the war.
The Prime Minister said the Government would prove that a third runway at Europe's busiest international airport would not compromise the UK's target to reduce emissions from greenhouse gases.
The judge admitted that the Government's plans for further consultations next year would meet his requirement for ministers to fully consider the impact of a third runway on the environment. Bad news for green campaigners, but possibly better news for business and leisure travellers.