Ministers set to lay out plans for doubling of Heathrow flights

Ministers set to lay out plans for doubling of Heathrow flights

Ministers are expected to publish proposals for a major increase in flights from Heathrow this week in a move set to kick-start a year-long parliamentary process.

The government’s planning for a third runway at the west London hub is due to be issued after the High Court temporarily blocked a legal challenge by local councils to the airport’s expansion (see separate story).

The national policy statement, drawn up by the Department for Transport, will set out the impact that the 3,500m runway will have on the community as well as the tough planning conditions attached to the plans.

It is expected to cap flights from Heathrow at 740,000 take-offs or landings a year – a 50% increase on the present limit – as well as banning night flights for a six-and-a-half hour period, The Times reported.

The policy statement, which is likely to be published on Thursday, will outline plans for the compulsory purchase of almost 800 homes around the airport, giving owners 125% of their value plus costs. It is also expected to rule out a fourth runway.

The expansion will be subject to a four-month public consultation and will ultimately be put to a vote of MPs, probably by the end of this year or early 2018.

Heathrow would then submit its own detailed planning application.

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