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Heathrow sees expansion delay of at least two years


London’s Heathrow airport on Friday said the building of a third runway at Europe’s busiest hub would be delayed by at least two years for legal reasons and the coronavirus outbreak.

“Expanding Heathrow remains a key plank of our long-term strategy once we have beaten COVID-19 and entered the recovery phase,” it said in its latest result report.

“However, given the current COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing appeals process, we expect expansion and related capital investment to be delayed by at least two years.”

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 17, 2016 a passenger aircraft takes off alongside Terminal 5 during sunrise at London Heathrow Airport in west London. – British tour operators put themselves outside the law by not reimbursing their customers for stays already paid for and cancelled because of the coronavirus, the consumer defence association Which! said on April 22, 2020. “We asked the ten largest British tour operators and the ten largest airlines to explain their refund policies. None of these companies were meeting their legal obligations on time,” said Which! (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

The government gave the green light for Heathrow to expand in 2018 after years of delays, with the building of the third runway expected to start in 2022 and take four years.

But environmental campaigners in February won a court case arguing that the government had failed to take into account its own climate change commitments in the decision.

Heathrow airport — which is owned by a consortium led by Spanish construction giant Ferrovial — has appealed the ruling.


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