Heathrow Runway Decision Delayed

A decision on building a third runway at Heathrow Airport has been put back to January 2009, the Department for Transport has announced. An announcement had originally been expected before Christmas.
British Government Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon has spoken of “strong views” which required “proper consideration”.
In a House of Commons statement on December 4, he added that the government had made it clear it supported a third runway at Heathrow – subject to environmental controls.
A consultation into the impact of the proposed runway finished on November 9 and Mr Hoon has begun to consider the evidence, including 70,000 responses.
“I share the desire on all sides of the house, and among the wider public, for this issue to be resolved. I am equally aware of the importance of reaching the right conclusion,” he said.
“I know that there are strong views across a range of interests. I will ensure that I give proper consideration to the evidence before me and will therefore take more time before making an announcement to the House, in January 2009.”
Airport owner/operator BAA says Heathrow needs an extra runway by 2020 to cope with increased demand, but environmentalists are strongly opposed.
A spokesman for British Airways said: “We had hoped for a decision before Christmas. However, having waited six years to reach this point, we can afford to wait a little bit longer.”