Government invites public to respond to controversial plans for third runway and new terminal

The government has launched a consultation into plans for a third runway and a new terminal at Heathrow Airport.

The consultation invites the public to respond to plans for a third runway, 2,2km long, to be built to the north of the existing airport by around 2020.

An additional passenger terminal, which would sit on the other side of the current northern runway from the new Terminal 5, would handle long and short haul air traffic.

The expansion would allow Heathrow to increase its passenger capacity from the annual figure of 95m anticipated after the opening of Terminal 5, to 135m by 2030.

The additional land required for the 450ha expansion would mean the demolition of 700 properties, including the village of Sipson.

The plans have already angered local communities and environmental groups.

Richard Dyer, aviation campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “Building a third runway at Heathrow will inevitably lead to even more flights and more pollution. Unless we curb the growth in flights, our targets for combating global warming are unlikely to be met.”