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            september 22, 2019

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BIFA fears more delays loom over London Heathrow expansion plans


Director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) Robert Keen has welcomed the UK parliament's vote in favour of the National Policy Statement for the expansion of London Heathrow airport but has raised doubts on "whether the spades will ever hit the ground" to build the third runway, according to Shipping Gazette.
"Detailed plans will still need to be drawn up and will again have to go out for public consultation. There is talk of several local authorities around Heathrow mounting a legal challenge, as well as a judicial review. Separate reviews of flight paths and airspace are also required," said Mr Keen.
"Each new hurdle that appears will only increase delays further and the chance of another political volte-face is ever present.
"On behalf of BIFA member companies, which are desperate for the greater number of flights and accompanying air freight capacity that would result from the new runway, I can only hope that the vote does not just open another protracted chapter in the 30-year story of procrastination over Heathrow in particular and UK aviation capacity in general.
Mr Keen added that the "decision has been years in the making and needs to be accompanied by the expedited planning procedure, which has been mentioned previously, with no reopening of high level arguments and robust handling of any legal challenges.
"I hope all concerned move quickly to maintain the momentum now that this crucial hurdle has been cleared."

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