Britain gives Heathrow Airport the green light to build a new $22 billion runway, ending 25 years of indecision and vowing to boost global trade links following the vote to leave the European Union. Julian Satterthwaite reports.
Finally, a decision on Heathrow. The UK government on Tuesday saying it backs construction of a third runway at the London airport. Choosing it over smaller rival Gatwick. BRITISH TRANSPORT MINISTER, CHRIS GRAYLING, SAYING: "We believe a third runway at Heathrow is the best option for our future, it's the best for the whole country to create connectivity to the different regions of the UK, and to provide the best trade links to the world." But the decision faces determined opposition from a coalition of forces: Campaigners, and some local councils, saying they will fight the new runway in the courts. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEN PARTY CO-LEADER AND OPPONENT OF AN AIRPORT EXPANSION, CAROLINE LUCAS, SAYING: "An expansion of aviation at either Heathrow or Gatwick will be incompatible with the targets that we signed up to at the Paris climate talks scarcely a year ago." Heathrow opened back in 1946. Even then, planners said a third runway would be needed. Ever since, successive governments have dithered over a decision. Seventy years on businesses are impatient. Heathrow can't pack in any more flights. Some say Brexit makes expansion even more important. Heathrow serves the kind of far-flung places that may replace the EU as trade and business priorities. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO FOUNDER, SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SAYING: "Obviously by the very nature of it, it's employing more people and there's greater throughput going on it does have an input. So frankly we should have been doing this a long time ago." Now Tuesday's decision brings the third runway a little closer. But don't hold your breath.