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Heathrow's expansion plans delayed by more than a year

By Ramla Soni

The Civil Aviation Authority said it was in the best interest of consumers to reduce early construction costs to £1.6bn

London Heathrow’s expansion plan will be delayed by more than a year and a third runway at the UK airport will probably now be completed between early 2028 and late 2029, Europe’s busiest airport stated.

The delay comes after Britain’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said the airport could not increase its spending on early construction costs to ensure that the runway was built by the end of 2026, as planned.

The CAA said it was in the best interests of consumers for Heathrow to spend more than £1.6bn on early construction, rejecting the airport’s earlier £2.4bn plan.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has opposed Heathrow’s expansion but parliament has approved the £14bn plans, which include building the first full-length new runway in the London area for 70 years.

The expansion plan is also opposed by climate change protesters and is being challenged in the courts.

However, results released by Heathrow in September showed that local support for expansion remained high, with more local residents supporting the project than opposing it in 16 of the 18 parliamentary constituencies closest to the airport – including in the Prime Minister’s own constituency, Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

Emma Gilthorpe, executive director of Heathrow expansion said: “It is great to see that local support for expansion continues to remain high. Thousands of local people recognise the benefits this project will bring, including new jobs, apprenticeships, improved green space, better transport networks and enhanced environmental mitigation programmes.”

Heathrow Airport is owned by Ferrovial, Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp, among others.

FURTHER READING: Miami International Airport gets its first Bitcoin cash machine

FURTHER READING: British Airways owner aims for net zero carbon emissions by 2050

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