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Heathrow third runway opponents claim court victory

26th March, 2010

Campaigners and residents were today celebrating at the High Court. A consortium of local authorities and non-governmental organisations had brought a Judicial Review against the government over its decision to build a third runway at Heathrow.

In the ruling today, Lord Justice Carnwath said that relying on the 2003 Air Transport White Paper for policy guidance would be “untenable in law and common sense” given the development of climate policies since then, particularly the Climate Act 2008 and updates to the cost of carbon, which will have a significant impact on economic analysis.

He did not rule out a third runway, but said the government must now re-evaluate the case, specifically looking at surface access to the airport, at economic benefits/costs and at climate impacts.

The news has been welcomed by the AEF. We are particularly pleased with the findings of the judge on climate, which mirrors what we have been saying for several years.

AEF has repeatedly pointed out that the government’s aviation policy is inconsistent with its climate targets, a view confirmed in December 2009 by findings from the Committee on Climate Change.

The full text of the ruling is here.