The Government has began a four-month consultation on plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. It believes a new runway will strengthen the UK’s links with the rest of the world, offering new and improved opportunities for tourism and trade.

But a third runway will also have an environmental impact. The Government promises to address that impact with a package of measures it describes as “world class”. It believes expansion can be delivered within existing air quality requirements though this would, in any case, be a condition of planning approval.

Formally speaking, the consultation is on a draft National Policy Statement (NPS) on expanding runway capacity and airport infrastructure in the south-east of England.

The draft NPS sets out:

• the need for additional airport capacity in the south-east of England
• why Government believes that need is best met by a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport
• the specific requirements that the new runway will need to meet to gain development consent on issues such as pollution, climate change, habitats, health, good design and cost.

You can participate in this consultation online. All the background documents and consultation response forms are available at:

The consultation ends at 11.45pm on Thursday 25 May 2017.

To address the worries about noise, climate change and air quality, the Government is proposing a range of counter measures that includes legally binding noise targetsmand new technology to make airspace more efficient.

“We remain very concerned about the environmental impact of a third runway,” said Cllr Tim Coleridge, RBKC Cabinet Member for Transport, “Our hope is that the ‘world-class package of measures’ that has been promised will address our concerns. We will be studying it closely before making our own submission to the Government.”