Heathrow Airport expansion

Doubt over Heathrow expansion a 'setback' for small firms

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Climate change protestors
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It seems Boris Johnson may be able to avoid - as he promised years ago - lying down in front of bulldozers to prevent a new runway at Heathrow.

The airport's expansion was ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal because it didn't take climate commitments into account.

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Business, says Heathrow is at near capacity for air freight, making it difficult for small businesses to export.

“This is a setback - it doesn’t give businesses the confidence that they need. We have the opportunity to double the businesses looking to grow by exporting and this is holding us back as we leave the EU,” he said.

Not game over for Heathrow

BBC Radio 5 Live

Environmental campaigners
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Plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport were thrown into doubt on Thursday, after a court ruling said that the expansion was unlawful.

Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of business group London First, told Wake Up to Money that while the ruling was disappointing, it doesn't mean this is the end.

"They have said the future of the third runway can go ahead if it can fit in with the UK's climate policies, so on one hand what we've got here is a government decision on Heathrow with a big parlimentary majority and a decision to go ahead, and on the other hand there, climate policy, and the two just have to be married up," she said.

It might sound hard to reduce emissions if you're building an extra runway to allow more planes to take off and land, but Ms Whitbread thinks this isn't an impossible task.

"The truth is that Heathrow has been at the forefront of working with the aviation industry to get to the next zero emissions by 2015 in line with the Paris accords, so we want the UK to be a leading actor in de-carbonisation," she said.

"Those airlines know they're going to have to change in order to be successful."

Heathrow decision 'not good news', says Conservative MP

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

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Sir Roger Gale, president of the All Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation, spoke to the BBC's World at One about the Court of Appeal's decision on Heathrow.

Airlines UK: Enormous economic prize if Heathrow done right

Heathrow runway
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Another comment on the Court of Appeal's ruling against Heathrow's expansion this morning.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, called the decision "extremely disappointing".

He said: "The economic prize is enormous if expansion is done right, with airlines ready to respond to the unlocking of new capacity by creating new routes and helping to connect the UK to new markets and destinations, and Heathrow to regions across the country.

"UK aviation has committed to 'net zero' carbon by 2050 and this factors in the emissions created by Heathrow expansion. It is not a question of being pro-aviation or pro-environment."

He added: "We are clear that as a country we cannot keep fudging this issue if we are to maintain our credibility internationally. We urge ministers to appeal the decision, back expansion publicly, and ensure it delivers for the whole country."

Third runway must not be at the 'expense of the environment'

Environmental campaigner
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Environmental campaigners waited for the decision outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday morning

The Unite union has commented on the ruling against the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

Its assistant general secretary, Diana Holland, said: "Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk if the government does not take immediate action to ensure that the Heathrow expansion goes ahead. However, Unite is adamant this must not be at the expense of the environment."

She added: "The government must bring forward new proposals that are in line with the UK’s environmental commitments."Urgent action is needed to tackle the climate emergency that we all face but that must be through a just transition which does not demonise particular sectors or industries."