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Heathrow Airport has proposed the addition of 25,000 new flights—an increase of 5%—before it opens its third runway, as part of a £16 billion expansion plan.

68 more take-offs and landings a day would be added in the next few years, exceeding the existing flight limit.

Construction on the third runway was finally greenlit last year after many delays. It is due to start as soon as 2021, and to open in 2026. The third runway would increase the airport’s annual capacity to 135 million, up from 78 million in 2017. The number of flights would grow from 480,000 to 740,000.

Heathrow proposes 25,000 additional flights before third runway opens
Credit: Robert Bye

The UK government has drafted a bill that would extend the current no-fly zone from 1km to 5km around Heathrow.

An eight-week public consultation period begins today (8th January) and will continue until March 4th. Points of concern relating to the Heathrow expansion have included noise pollution, air pollution, congestion in the local area, and the demolition of homes.

The third runway was opposed by several MPs across the political spectrum, including Labour’s John McDonnell, the Conservatives’ Justine Greening and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas, who described it as a “disastrous decision” in the face of global warming.

Source: Bloomberg

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