Heathrow third runway stopped as court decides for environmentalists

The High Court has blocked further work on Heathrow’s third runway in a victory for environmentalists.

The Appeals Court agreed that the air quality and pollution studies had not be considered properly as required under the Act that permits the runway to proceed.

They particularly argued that former (and largely considered incompetent for many other transgressions) transport minister Chris Grayling, had failed to take into account the UK’s commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.

With such condemnation from the Appeals Court, the Government and Heathrow will either have to prove they have changed plans to make it viable, then get the stop lifted, a massive and lengthy task that could take three years, abandon the project altogether, or appeal to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case then the Appeal Court ruling stands.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was always opposed to the Heathrow expansion, and British Airways will be delighted as it’s what they wanted, preserving their 60% grip with IAG on airport slots.

The government has already said it isn’t going to appeal the decision although Heathrow Airport has said it will. This means that the government has washed its hands of the project, again.

If the project is dropped it almost certainly means that Gatwick will move forward with its second runway plans, though that benefits vastly fewer people other than those in the SE of England and south London.