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Heathrow Airport expansion plans come to a halt

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

For almost a decade, the discussion about the expansion of Heathrow Airport has been on-going and a regular debate amongst politicians, climate activists and Londoners and locals in the surrounding area. After MPs had voted to go ahead with the creation of a third runway and Boris Johnson spoke in favour of the expansion project, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that the expansion plans were in fact ‘illegal’.

Plans to expand the airport with a third runway would have brought 260.000 additional flights,  this would add 700 flights to the daily traffic of  Europe’s largest airport by passenger volume.

Why would expansion of Heathrow Airport be illegal?

According to the court, an expansion at Heathrow Airport would, in fact, be illegal because it would disregard the government’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions and its bid to make the UK greener under the Paris agreement. The treaty was signed by all United Nation members in order to reach the goal of cutting carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

The government would have the opportunity to appeal the court’s decision, however, it has already stated that it was not interested in doing so.

Climate activists celebrate their victory

Members of environmental activist groups, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, who had been following the project closely for more than a decade welcomed and celebrated their victory. Nonetheless, a Green Peace member also warned not to declare victory too soon. Although the government may not be planning to appeal the court’s decision, the airport owner Heathrow Airport Holdings may still do so.

MPs against Heathrow Airport expansion plans

Green MP, Caroline Lucas, stated that a third runway would mean more noise and pollution and that it “makes a mockery” of the government’s zero-emissions plan.

Significantly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had once said to campaigners: “I will lie down with you in front of those bulldozers and stop the construction of that third runway” during his time as London’s mayor.

Support and criticism towards the expansion plans

London Heathrow Airport expansion plans

Those in favour of the construction of a third runway argue that if this does not happen for Heathrow, another European airport will do so instead. Arguments were made claiming that Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt Airport or Paris Charles de Gaulle could expand and make huge profits. Furthermore, the defenders of the extension added to their argument that because of the certainty that a different European airport will expand, the goal of zero CO2 emission has already been compromised.

Popular airlines that arrive or depart from Heathrow Airport:

These are the airlines that fly to or from Heathrow the most:

Flight at Heathrow delayed or cancelled? You might be entitled to compensation

When flying from Heathrow airport, you are entitled to compensation if your flight is delayed, cancelled or If you’ve been denied boarding. Your rights are protected under Regulation 261/2004 and the airline will have to compensate you if it can’t prove that your disruption was caused by an extraordinary circumstance.

Very often, airlines make the process of claiming as complicated as possible in order to simply avoid compensating their passengers. They also overuse the argument that the disruption was caused by an extraordinary circumstance. Therefore, and more often than not, one sees passengers lose hope and accept the airline’s rejection as the truth.

Fortunately, we have the adequate tools and databases to ensure that your rights are enforced and to fact-check the airlines. We will even take them to court when necessary and all of the legal costs will be covered by our 25% win-fee. If you wish so, we can take care of your claim and help you enforce your rights!

If you want to maximise the probability of being compensated for your flight delay, cancellation or overbooking, you can let a specialised service, like Flight-Delayed, take care of the whole ordeal. We will gladly help you get what is yours, all under our no win, no fee agreement.

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