Thursday 27 February 2020 6:08 am

Heathrow expansion: Court of Appeal set to decide on Khan's challenge

The Court of Appeal will deliver a verdict on Sadiq Khan’s challenge to a third Heathrow runway today.

Khan teamed up with several local authorities, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Heathrow Hub, authors of a rival extension bid, to challenge the Department for Transport’s (DfT) 2018 policy statement outlining the project.

Read more: Heathrow airport halts take-offs due to plane blocking runway

Parliament backed the statement in 2018, voting 415-119 in favour of going ahead with Heathrow’s expansion. 

Khan’s subsequent court challenge was unsuccessful, however the group was given leave to appeal, which was heard in October.

The appeal’s verdict comes as Heathrow announced yesterday it had recorded its ninth consecutive year of passenger growth. 

The UK’s largest airport welcomed a record 80.9m passengers through its gates in 2019, a one per cent increase on the year before, with 82 per cent of these rating the airport “excellent” or “very good”.

Revenue climbed 3.4 per cent to £3.1bn as demand to fly increased, while earnings rose 4.6 per cent to £1.9bn.

The airport received an extra £856m in investment in 2019, but said that there was £14bn more waiting in the wings from private investors if the expansion got the go-ahead.

The transport hub also said that though it was closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak, it does “not expect [it] to have a material negative impact on [its] financial results”.

A Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) reported also released today found that Heathrow acts as a port for 40 per cent of Britain’s goods exports.

Read more: Heathrow soars to ninth year of growth as third runway decision looms

Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Within two years, Charles de Gaulle will overtake Heathrow as the biggest airport in Europe.

“Heathrow’s new runway is ready to turn ‘global Britain’ into more than just a campaign slogan.”