at Heathrow in a landmark speech on the environment on Monday that threatened
to open a rift with business.
to maintain the UK’s competitiveness. But plans for a third runway are facing
mounting opposition from residents’ and environmental groups, backed by some local
of how his party will balance competing arguments from business and green lobbyists,
particularly in electorally sensitive areas.
in a speech in London on Monday, while leaving a small amount of wiggle room for
a later endorsement of expansion.
and prove a political point", Mr Cameron stated: "The most important priority
for Heathrow is making it better, not bigger." The "fiasco" at Terminal 5 meant
there "must be severe doubt" over the ability of the government and BAA, Heathrow’s
owner, to manage the expansion, Mr Cameron said.
case for a third runway. "There are now increasing grounds to believe that the
economic case is flawed, even without addressing the serious environmental concerns,"
Mr Cameron stated.
[airport capacity] to meet rising demand, we’re going to lose out as UK plc,"
David Frost, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, told the Financial
an airport that’s at 99 per cent capacity". John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general,
said the employers’ body agreed with Mr Cameron’s argument that urgent environmental
action was needed, despite the economic downturn. But he questioned the Tory policy
of ring-fencing all the revenues from higher green taxes for tax relief for families.
in green taxes should help families," Mr Cridland told the FT.
to require the next generation of coal-fired power stations, including Eon’s proposed
£1.5bn ($2.9bn) new plant at Kingsnorth, Kent, to incorporate carbon capture storage
at both British Airways, which has its global hub at the airport, and at BAA,
which has been leading the campaign to build a third runway.
delays and to maintain Heathrow’s position as a global hub airport.
public consultation on the Heathrow expansion plans later this year, which could
increase takeoff and landing capacity at Europe’s most congested airport by 50
per cent by 2030.
said last month that the proposed expansion should be put on hold. It was immediately
rebuffed by the transport department, which said deferring a decision for a further
three-year debate was "not a serious option".