Plans to expand Heathrow still failing on environmental impact, groups warn

Campaigners have slammed the government’s aviation consultations for failing to provide new mitigation measures on air pollution and climate change.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling last week launched a consultation on a national policy statement (NPS) for airport expansion in the South East. In October 2016, the government announced its preference for a new northwest runway at Heathrow, but the consultation also asks for opinions on expanding Gatwick Airport and extending an existing runway at Heathrow.  

In a written statement to parliament, Grayling reiterated pledges to ensure more than 50% of airport users to access Heathrow by public transport; that ‘industry-leading’ measures on carbon and air quality would be followed during construction and operation of new facilities; and the need for the developer of new airport capacity to meet legal limits on air quality to obtain planning consent. 

Legal campaign group ClientEarth, which successfully took the government to court over its failure to meet legal limits on air quality, said that the airport NPS failed to demonstrate how the project to build a new runway at Heathrow could comply with ...

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