Last October, the Government announced a new northwest runway at Heathrow as its preferred scheme for delivering additional airport capacity in the South East of England.
Between February and May this year the Department for Transport consulted on a draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), and received more than 70,000 responses from across the UK.
On 25 October 2017, the Government has launched a period of further consultation for eight weeks until 19thDecember. This will give people the chance to consider updated evidence which was unavailable back in February. This includes updates to the aviation demand forecasts and analysis which have been published, and the National Air Quality Plan which was published in July this year. Parliamentary scrutiny can run concurrently with this consultation process, and the DfT still expect to publish a final Airports NPS in the first half of next year for a vote in the House of Commons.
The revised draft Airports National Policy Statement sets out:
the need for additional airport capacity in the south-east of England
why government believes that need is best met by a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport
the specific requirements that an applicant for a new north-west runway will need to meet to gain development consent
If you haven’t responded, follow this link to find out how you can: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/heathrow-expansion-revised-draft-airports-national-policy-statement
Further information on Heathrow Airport expansion or contact 0300 123 4797.
Further update - UK Airspace Policy
The government has confirmed that it will be establishing a new independent noise body, which will help to ensure the communities around our airports have a say in airspace changes which may affect them. The Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) will produce guidance and best practice for making sure the process for taking airspace change decisions is trusted and transparent. To ensure this is happening, there will be a review of ICCAN within two years, with a view to considering whether statutory powers are required.
In addition, the measures set out will enable the UK to make much greater use of new technology which gives us the ability to manage UK airspace more effectively to tackle delays, cut emissions and reduce the need for stacking above our busiest airports. There will also be new call-in powers for the Transport Secretary on airspace changes of national significance, providing greater democratic accountability for the most significant decisions.
As well as helping to address the concerns of local residents, these changes are designed to assist with making the airspace changes we need in our skies to manage future demand – including with a third runway at Heathrow.
Link to Heathrow expansion update 2016