UK govt. under fire over plan to expand London’s airport

The British government has approved a plan to expand London’s Heathrow Airport, drawing strong opposition from senior politicians and environmentalists.

The move Tuesday to add a new runway at the airport was hailed by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling as a “momentous step,” but has stoked divisions and provoked protests and threats of legal action from opponents.

Grayling arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London on October 18, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The decision to add a third runway, which came following decades of delay and debate, would “send a clear message today that Britain is open for business,” Grayling told parliament on Tuesday.

According to the UK government, the expansion would “bring economic benefits to passengers and the wider economy worth up to £61 billion,” because the capital would be able to handle more air traffic.

A study conducted by Britain’s independent Airports Commission also shows that the new…

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