Belfast Telegraph

Heathrow plans 'need safeguards before final approval'

By Neil Lancefield

Heathrow's expansion bid should not be approved without tougher measures to protect communities and passengers, MPs have said.

More safeguards on issues such as air quality, noise, regional connectivity and airport charges are needed before the third runway scheme gets the go ahead, according to the Commons' Transport Select Committee.

It called on parliament to support the project once its concerns have been addressed, accepting there is a case for expanding Heathrow.

The committee's report also urged the Government to provide more clarity on the funding and timeline of changes to the airport's rail and road links.

Outline planning consent will be given by parliament if it approves a National Policy Statement setting out objectives and requirements for the scheme.

Neil Carberry, the CBI's managing director for infrastructure and people, said: "With the new global links that it will bring and the opportunity to unlock jobs right across the UK, getting on with building the third runway at Heathrow is a vital part of this equation.

"It's now critical that the National Policy Statement is finalised and approved by Parliament by the summer to allow construction to begin by 2020, and a new runway to be operational before 2030.

"This will be crucial if we want to set ourselves up for success and be an outward-looking, trading nation, post-Brexit."

Six sites in Northern Ireland have been longlisted as potential regional logistic hubs for the off-site construction of the airport's third runway.

Belfast Telegraph

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