The on-again off-again third runway at Heathrow airport has hit another speed wobble following a ruling by the Court of Appeal in favour of campaigners challenging the legality of the UK government’s decision to allow the project to go ahead.
But the British International Freight Association (Bifa) is not giving up.
“The Lord Justices have made it clear that their judgment didn’t mean that there could never be a third runway at Heathrow, but that the government now had the opportunity to reconsider, in accordance with the clear statutory requirements that parliament has imposed,” said director general Robert Keen.
“The owners of Heathrow Airport have made it clear that while it will appeal to the Supreme Court on the one issue that was not dismissed - the Airports National Policy Statement, which approved the project in its current form - it is ready to work with the government to fix the issue which the court has raised.
“The government has announced it will not appeal today’s judgement. On behalf of Bifa member companies, which are keen for the greater number of flights and accompanying airfreight capacity that would result from a new runway, Bifa urges the government to revise the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) and work with Heathrow to solve the legal issues.”
In 2018 government gave approval for the third runway but at the time Keen was aware of the likelihood of further legal challenges. He remains sceptical.
“For several years the trade association that represents UK freight forwarding and logistics businesses has welcomed plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport and criticised the years of argument and delay.”