- Title: Protesters create 'runway' outside parliament against Heathrow expansion
- Date: 25th October 2016
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 25, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS DANCING NEXT TO PEOPLE ON MOCK RUNWAY
- Embargoed: 9th November 2016 10:40
- Keywords: Heathrow Climate change Protest Third Runway Theresa May Government Politics Paris agreement
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Environment,Climate Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00155I6RT3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Climate activists protested outside parliament on Tuesday (October 25), as Britain's government gave the green light to build a new $22 billion runway at Heathrow airport.
Pressure group "Plane Stupid" rolled out a mock runway in Westminster, with protesters dressed as aircraft marshals dancing and chanting against the planned expansion.
The group's Sheila Menon said the decision could have "devastating consequences" for local communities around the airport.
Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, had been battling with its smaller rival Gatwick for the right to expand, after successive governments failed to make a decision on a new runway due to environmental and political protests.
The project is one of the biggest infrastructure programmes in Europe at 18 billion pounds.
It is now likely to face legal challenges and a final vote by lawmakers in a year's time, meaning the runway can only open by 2025 at the earliest.
The decision by Prime Minister Theresa May marks one of her biggest moves since she took office in July. It puts her in conflict with some senior ministers, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson whose electoral constituency sits near Heathrow.
Green Party leader Caroline Lucas is among the lawmakers opposed to the decision.
The expansion "will be incompatible with the obligations that we have signed up to at the Paris climate talks", she said.
"Aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions," she said.
Heathrow is set to lose its ranking as Europe's biggest hub airport to Paris' Charles de Gaulle by 2020.
With only two runways, it is limited to 480,000 flights a year compared with the potential for more than 600,000 flights offered by rival European airports with more runways.
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