It now appears that the UK’s new coalition government has canceled plans to build a third runway at London Heathrow Airport. The government will also refuse extra runways at London’s other two main airports, Stansted and Gatwick. This news comes as the leaders promise that they will work at putting together a new low carbon economy.
Of course, as expected, environmental campaigners reacted very warmly to this news. Ben Stewart, from Greenpeace, said that this is fantastic news that will be met with great relief. A third runway at Heathrow was always a bizarre proposal that made no sense to anybody who understood the impact aviation has on climate.
However, the aviation industry was not as happy with the news. A spokesperson for British Airways said that the incoming government is well aware of the carrier’s views and has taken a different position. The carrier is content for matters to rest there.
The scrapping of a third Heathrow runway was expected, but the new administration has widened the block on new landing strips at other airports as well. This, of course, could potentially reduce the value of the Sussex airport to its new owners.
The incoming government also plans to scrap the air passenger duty with a tax on the plane, not the passengers. This is very likely to mean that full flights will get cheaper and poorly used flights will become more expensive.
The chief executive of easyJet, Andy Harrison, said that he welcomed the proposal. It is now time to act and make Air Passenger Duty a fairer and greener tax without increasing the tax burden on the flying public.