What the ed­i­to­ri­als said

The Week Middle East - - News -

For more than 40 years, gov­ern­ments have “danced around” the ques­tion of air­port ex­pan­sion in south­ern Eng­land, said The Daily Tele­graph. In that time, the num­ber of pas­sen­gers us­ing Heathrow has grown from 15 mil­lion a year to 75 mil­lion. It’d be nice to think we could now just get on with it; alas, “the scope for pro­cras­ti­na­tion is still con­sid­er­able”. The po­lit­i­cal back­lash has al­ready started: Goldsmith’s res­ig­na­tion will trig­ger a by-elec­tion that the Lib Dems will try to turn into a vote on Brexit. We can ex­pect nu­mer­ous le­gal chal­lenges, said the FT, and even un­der new ac­cel­er­ated plan­ning pro­ce­dures for ma­jor pro­jects, the ex­pan­sion has to be sub­ject to pub­lic in­quiries, and an MPs vote. “That hardly pro­jects the im­age of a dy­namic na­tion ea­ger to wel­come in­vest­ment.” Min­is­ters are mak­ing a “big mis­take”, said The Times. A new run­way at Gatwick could cost only £7.4bn and be com­pleted by 2025. Heathrow will take years longer, be­cause of the sheer scale of the pro­ject: 750 homes will have to be de­mol­ished, and a vast bridge may have to be built to carry the run­way over the M25. Noise pol­lu­tion will mar the lives of hun­dreds of thou­sands more peo­ple. Gatwick should have won.

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