No Gatwick or Heathrow expansion decision ‘before October’

Gatwick Airport 5-1-15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150601-100616001
Gatwick Airport 5-1-15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150601-100616001

A decision on expanding either Gatwick or Heathrow will not be made before at least October, ministers have announced.

Last July the Airports Commission recommended a third runway be built at Heathrow Airport, but the Government has delayed endorsing this.

In the House of Commons this morning, Drew Hendry, the SNP’s transport spokesman, said: “Can we finally get a decision on airport expansion in the South East or yet again are we going to see more and more fudge over this subject?”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that he had hoped to take a decision on airport capacity this summer but any decision would have to be made when the House is in session, and he could not foresee any announcement ‘before October’.

He added: “We aim to publish further analysis on air quality soon. Separately promoters have announced undertakings which will increase the compensation for residents living near the airports and the connectivity between other UK airports.

“The Government is fully committed to delivering this important infrastructure project.”

Mr McLoughlin continued: “I would have liked to have been in the position of asking the House to make a decision and endorsing a decision, we are not going to be in that position, we have to be realistic.”

He continued: “I hope to see a decision by the end of the year.”

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