Third Heathrow runway backed by The Airports Commission

Last updated at 08:27
Plane at Heathrow AirportPA
The Airports Commission say a third runway at Heathrow Airport would create 70,000 jobs

Plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport in London have been backed by The Airports Commission, an independent report into Britain's airport capacity.

The report says it will add £147bn to the economy and 70,000 jobs by 2050.

But it added that the new runway should come with severe restrictions to reduce the environmental and noise effects.

Night flights should be banned and the government should make a special promise not to build a fourth runway.

But expanding airports is a subject that divides people.

Why do we need more runways?

Aerial view of Heathrow's planned third runwayPA
Nearly 800 homes would have to be demolished to build the new third runway at Heathrow

Airlines are frequently announcing new long haul flight routes, as well as cheaper low-budget destinations, which means there needs to be enough space in airports for planes to take off and land.

Having another runway at airports such as Heathrow would mean that thousands more flights could be offered - which could bring lots of money into the country.

Heathrow, for example, is one of the busiest airports in the world and in 2012, handled 70 million passengers. But they operate the airport at 98% capacity, meaning they don't have a lot of space left.

Who's against it?

Protestors against heathrow's third runwayGetty Images
Campaign groups have said they will continue to protest against plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport

Many communities living near Heathrow airport are against the plans because nearly 800 homes would have to be demolished to build the new runway and they'd have to move elsewhere.

Not only that, but there are environmental concerns such as noise and air pollution from the planes.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has said that putting a new runway at Heathrow would be a "catastrophe" and instead wants them to consider another plan.

What happens next?

Prime Minister David CameronReuters
Prime Minister David Cameron will have to decide whether his government will back Heathrow's third runway plans

The government has said that it will give its official response to The Airports Commission report in the autumn.

Where to build a new runway is a massive decision and one of the big problems is that it could take more than 10 years for plans to be approved and a runway to actually be built.

In this time, the government who approved the plans might not still be in power, meaning a new government could scrap the plans.