Draft Airports National Policy Published

The draft Airports National Policy Statement, including proposals for a third runway at Heathrow Airport, is published today and will be subject to a public consultation.

On 25 October 2016, the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, confirmed that the government’s preferred scheme for adding new runway capacity in the south-east is through a new north-west runway at Heathrow Airport, in line with the recommendation made by the independent Airports Commission, and that the policy for this would be brought forward by way of a draft national policy statement (NPS) which would be subject to public consultation.

This move, taken for the country as a whole, will ensure Britain has the connections it needs to thrive in the global market, sending a clear signal that Britain is open for business, and is creating an economy that works for everyone.

The government’s draft NPSAirports National Policy Statement: new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the south-east of England, lays down the planning policy framework which the applicant for a new north-west runway would have to comply with in order to get development consent. It also sets out the need for additional airport capacity in the south-east and the reasons why a north-west runway at Heathrow is the government’s preferred scheme.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

“Aviation expansion is important for the UK both in boosting our economy and jobs and promoting us on the world stage.

“Leaving the EU is a new chapter for Britain and provides us with a great opportunity to forge a new role in the world. We are determined to seize that opportunity and having the right infrastructure in place will allow us to build a more global Britain.

“By backing the north-west runway at Heathrow airport and publishing our proposals, we are sending a clear signal that when we leave the EU, we are open for business.

“The national policy statement is a big step forward for what is one of the UK’s most important, major infrastructure projects. Now we want to hear your views on it. This is an important consultation and I encourage everybody to get involved across the country.

The draft NPS is now open to a 16-week public consultation to ensure people have the opportunity to contribute their views.

During the consultation, there will be a series of local information events. Around the airport, there will be 20 one-day events for members of the public. There will be a further 13 events taking place in the nations and regions across the UK for business, industry and other interested parties.

The draft NPS sets out the measures with which Heathrow Airport Ltd will have to comply in order to get development consent. These include:

  • demonstrating it has worked constructively with airlines on domestic connectivity – the government expects Heathrow to add six more domestic routes across the UK by 2030; Belfast International, Liverpool, Newquay, Humberside, Prestwick and Durham Tees Valley, bringing the total to 14
  • providing a world-class package of support for communities affected by expansion including noise insulation for homes and schools and improvements to public facilities
  • putting in place measures to mitigate the impacts of noise including legally binding noise targets, periods of predictable respite and a ban of six and a half hours on scheduled night flights
  • implementing measures to deliver on its commitments of no increase in airport related road traffic and more than half of passengers using public transport to access the airport
  • honouring its commitment of paying home owners 25 per cent above market value rate plus costs for the compulsory purchase of their homes if needed to make way for the new runway

Key benefits of the new north-west runway are expected to be:

  • a £61 billion boost to the UK economy over 60 years
  • tens of thousands of additional local jobs by 2030
  • an additional 260,000 flights a year, with an extra 16 million long haul seats for passengers travelling from UK airports in 2040
  • reduced fares, fewer delays and more daily destinations for passengers

Read the full transcript of the Department for Transport news release on its website.